Girls today may be the first generation able to end the hugely uneven mix of boys and girls going into STEM-related careers. All sorts of factors are now in place to allow girls to follow the passions that suit them, not just those that fit with gender stereotypes. However, to really achieve this, we need adults (parents in particular) to avoid sending out the message that some activities and careers are 'not for girls' or 'not for boys'.
Bringing Up Boys is the subject of a debate at Cheltenham Festival this Thursday 9 June and the brilliant campaigning organisation Let Toys Be Toys are on the panel. They asked their Twitter followers what is important about raising boys so, as a mother of two primary age boys and a campaigner on Challenging Gender Stereotypes, here's what I chimed in with.
Before she could read, my child had a strong sense of gender based on the same stereotypes we encountered on the high street, from clothing and toys, to cards and pull-ups. Whatever stereotypes our society is guilty of, they are reinforced exponentially by a consumer culture that puts all its faith in gender marketing.
Being privileged is tough. My equally liberated friends and I are constantly expected to like, be respectful towards minorities or something. So to help with this massively inconvenient task, I've written up three everyday ways you can challenge prejudice and work towards equality. (Don't worry, it doesn't involve making punny placards and marching to Number 10).