Gender roles in the work place, unfortunately, had an impact on how we viewed certain career paths in the past. Years ago, it was rare to see a male teacher or nurse. These were careers that were thought of as a female paths, that men were not able to be a part of. Unfortunately, women in engineering or as a leader in business were thought of the same way. Thankfully, this is not something to worry about anymore because we have the same amount of male teachers and nurses as we do women in engineering and business. This doesn't reduce the importance of teaching girls that are interested in math and science at a young age about the opportunity for a career in engineering instead of a career as a math or science teacher.
Some perceive the media as a horrible representation of gender roles in the workplace, mostly because of pictures of women baking at home or teaching in the class room. But, for some, the media has had only positive messages regarding feminism and women's rights.
I am almost certain that this shift happened to many millennial girls growing up. This is realizing that gender can define us into a certain category, such as a survey would. But, it cannot define us in terms of income, athletics, careers, goals, education, and achievements. Something that has had an impact on this while growing up in the 90’s was the “Anything you could do” song.
- In 1990, Kidsongs released Ride the Roller Coaster, which contained a version of this song.
- Fran Drescher and Madeline Zima (1994) in The Nanny, "I Don't Remember Mama"
- Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm, Gatorade "Michael vs. Mia" commercial (1997), performed by Sophia Ramos
Another time that gender roles were used in advertising to represent a positive message is the Fight like a Girl; Campaign, aired during last year’s Super Bowl.This had a powerful message when showing young girls having confidence when asked to "throw like a girl" compared to older girls being asked to do the same and showing no confidence at all.
In conclusion, gender roles are not something that you are born with. We are born equal but society has an impact on where females should be placed in the work place. The best way to erase this perception is to ignore it, and teach young girls that they can be involved in any career path they choose whether it be Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), or a business career.