I’ve been working my way through our set of policies, updating and revising. One I was looking at this week was about Equal Opportunities arising from the introduction of the 2010 Equality Act.
It set me thinking about how far we have come in terms of sexual equality. I hope that, for the 3 year olds I am looking after just now, it will be normal to have equal opportunities and that there won’t be jobs that women cant do or be expected to do. But, therein lies a problem. Equality shouldn’t just mean that women can aspire to the same roles as men, it should also mean that men aspire to the same roles as women.
The children I currently look after could be our future doctors, economists, lawyers and politicians. But will they also aspire to be early years workers? In my profession some 98% of the workforce are female. The role model currently being provided to our next generation is that women are the main nurturers and carers of young children. We might claim to promote equality but we are not demonstrating it.
The role of the early years professional, I think, is one of the most important there is. We have the task of supporting and shaping the next generation. Perhaps if more men thought of it that way they wouldn’t leave it all to the women 😉