Girls are firefighters, too!
What comes to mind when you see a woman firefighter? Do you see anything unexpected?
Most people picture a man when they think of a firefighter. However, it is important that young girls realise that they, too, can do jobs that are typically thought to be for men. Like the first woman in Czechia to work as a firefighter in the operational emergency team since 2022. In a similar way, young boys can do jobs that people may think are for women.
Professions should be about aptitude and passion for the job, not about your gender.
Breaking the mould: let’s challenge gender stereotypes
As early as kindergarten, children begin to consider what they want to do when they grow up. Even then, they are exposed to gender stereotypes. The toys and activities they are given help them develop skills that are not only important for work but for life in general. Adult role models can also have a strong influence on children.
Studies have shown that children begin associating various jobs with a specific gender at an early age. Later in life, girls are more likely to be guided and choose to pursue studies or vocational training in education, health, welfare, and the humanities, whereas boys are more likely to choose and follow studies or vocational training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). While many factors might influence such decisions, it is important that we discuss the impact of gender stereotypes.
Gender inequalities in education are replicated in the labour market. This has an impact on income and careers. Salaries in the care industry, for example, are much lower than in the energy or construction industries, which are dominated by men.
It is important to challenge stereotypes at a young age in order to break them. We should also consider how gender stereotypes interact with other forms of prejudice, reinforcing discrimination.
The European Commission is taking a range of steps to promote gender equality in education and the labour market. Some measures aim to attract more women to areas where they are underrepresented, such as the environment, energy, and the digital industry. Others are working to close the gender pay gap. You too can take small actions to challenge gender stereotypes. The first step is to become aware of them and how they impact, for example, our career and educational choices.
Look beyond the figures
Tackling gender stereotypes in practice
We can only overcome gender stereotypes by taking concrete actions and encouraging career choices free from gender stereotypes. Find out about some EU-funded projects tackling gender stereotypes:
Let’s act together!
Do you want to challenge stereotypes and help promote gender equality?
To help raise awareness about this topic, share the campaign materials with the hashtag #EndGenderStereotypes.
Everyone has the power to bring about change!
- Digital kit - Възможности за избор на кариерабългарски
- Digital kit - Elección profesionalespañol
- Digital kit - Výběr povoláníčeština
- Digital kit - Karrierevalgdansk
- Digital kit - KarriereentscheidungenDeutsch
- Digital kit - Karjäärivalikudeesti
- Digital kit - Επιλογές σταδιοδρομίαςελληνικά
- Digital kit - Choix de carrièrefrançais
- Digital kit - Roghanna gairmeGaeilge
- Digital kit - Izbor karijerehrvatski
- Digital kit - Scelte professionaliitaliano
- Digital kit - Profesijas izvēlelatviešu
- Digital kit - Karjeros pasirinkimailietuvių
- Digital kit - Pályaválasztásmagyar
- Digital kit - Għażliet tal-karrieraMalti
- Digital kit - LoopbaankeuzesNederlands
- Digital kit - Wybór karierypolski
- Digital kit - Escolha de carreirasportuguês
- Digital kit - Alegeri de carierăromână
- Digital kit - Kariérne možnostislovenčina
- Digital kit - Izbira kariereslovenščina
- Digital kit - Uravalinnatsuomi
- Digital kit - Karriärvalsvenska
Want to know more?
Click on the themes below to discover where and how gender stereotypes have shaped our world and how we can all move forward together.