Press release

Your Daughter’s Future

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New guide helps parents support daughters to make career choices

A new guide launched today will help parents support their daughters as they make important decisions about their next steps. Your Daughter’s Future was developed with the help of girls aged 12 – 16 who have a wide range of career aspirations, from politics to sport and midwifery. It sets out what support they want from their parents as they weigh up exam and careers options.

The guide offers parents information on which GCSEs and A levels to consider for different careers. It also contains tips on organising workplace visits to gain experience, managing exam stress and boosting confidence, with tailored information for different ages.

According to the Women’s Business Council, women remain much more likely to work in sectors with already high levels of female employment. 23.1% of women work in public administration, health or education, compared with 8.6% of men. By contrast, only 0.9% of women work in construction, (6.1% of men) and only 2.6% of women work in manufacturing (7.1% of men).This contributes to the gender pay gap. Too often it is because young women lack advice and support to get into these careers and have too few female role models in these sectors to help dispel stereotypes.

The girls involved in developing the guide were clear that they wanted support from parents, so long as their own views were heard and respected too. Parents also said they wanted to help, but did not always know how best to support their daughters.

This guide was developed by the PSHE Association in conjunction with girls, parents and teachers from five schools, as well as Girl Guiding UK, Stylist magazine, the National Careers Council, and the Education and Employers Taskforce.

Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan said:

We know that primary school children already have clear ideas about what they think are men and women’s jobs. We want to make sure decisions girls make are not driven by tired gender stereotypes, but by their talents and interests.

We are working hard to encourage girls to embrace subjects that open doors to traditionally male-dominated sectors - and make sure they’ve got the knowledge and skills they need to succeed regardless of where they choose to work.

Parents are uniquely placed to show girls the wide variety of paths open to them, and support them in making career choices. Your Daughter’s Future is about giving parents the tools to help their daughters fulfil their potential.

The publication is a response to recommendations from the Women’s Business Council. Ruby McGregor-Smith, Chief Executive of MITIE Group and Chair of the Women’s Business Council, said:

Our research showed clearly that women are still predominantly going into traditionally female careers. This is underpinned by the choices girls make about school subjects.

I, and many of my fellow WBC members, can vouch for how exciting and rewarding a career can be for a woman in a sector that has traditionally been dominated by men. It is very important that girls make their career choices freely, without being hampered by stereotypes, so that they can take whichever route appeals to their interests and ambitions. I very much welcome this guide, which will help parents talk through these decisions with their daughters.

The guide can be found on the National Careers Service website.

The toolkit offers information and advice on careers for parents of girls aged 12 – 16. It contains 8 units that address different topics and age groups. They can be read independently or together.

The toolkit was developed in conjunction with girls, parents and teachers from Northfleet School, Henrietta Barnet School, Costello School, Hayes School and Sydenham School for Girls.