Dame Athene Donald, a Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge, believes so. Athene believes that one of the causes to boys and girls following different career paths in the UK is the gendered toys that they grow up playing with.
It has been recorded that boys are more likely to enter careers with an academic or creative aspect, whilst their female counterparts choose paths that are more down the hospitality and leisure route. Athene believes that this is down to boys playing with more construction based toys like lego or mecanno when they’re younger, whilst girls are likely to be play with their Barbie.
As well as toys, Athene feels that schools do not do the best they can for pupils when it comes to helping them find their real interests. She argues that schools often take the “lazy” option when it comes to work experience that children complete in years 10 and 12, claiming that they find placements that reinforce these gender stereotypes.
Athene feels that children need to be given an equal opportunity to discover what they want to do by themselves; they should not feel pressured to choose particular work roles due to social constructs.
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