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Bridging the gap

Gender imbalance in Career Technology Education classes stifles innovation, limits opportunities

Abigail Salazar

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Cartoon by Charlie Holden.

Career and technical education, or CTE, classes suffer from a significant gender imbalance. There are few females who take these courses.

It is not fair that there are more males than females in these classes, because some females are passionate in this type of field but don’t pursue their passion because of the inequality in the classes. Another reason some females may chose not to take these courses is because most of the CTE classes are in the fields considered a “male profession,” such as computer science, and society does not encourage women to work in them.

I have experienced this gender imbalance in my classes throughout my McCallum career. My freshman year, I was in a video game design class, in which there were a total of 19 students. Only three were female. At the time, it occurred to me that there weren’t many females in the class, but I didn’t see it as a systemic pattern. Three years later, I understand that this imbalance is an overlooked issue that needs to be addressed.

After that class, I became more interested in computers and decided to join a engineering class, and saw that once again there were only a few females in the class.

I was never really bothered by the male majority in the class, but the more I wanted to pursue more career and technical education classes and talked about the imbalance of genders, the more I started to hear things like, ‘Prove them boys wrong!’ or, “If you keep up the good work, you are going to show everyone that a girl can do what a boy does!”

Now that I’m getting close to the end of high school, I’ve started to look at colleges and have seen more balance between the genders at the next level. Walking around tables at college fairs and looking at colleges online, I’ve seen pictures of students’ projects with a few different girls in them. When looking at them, I was told, “Wow, you must be really good at what you do, because I don’t see many girls in those classes.”

As I’ve gotten closer to the adult world, I’ve seen the same imbalance of genders that I’ve seen in high school, which makes me have low expectations for the future.

It is unfair that females are outnumbered by males in career and technical education classes, and it’s also not right that people do not expect women to be great at what males do or that females would want to take part in anything that males do.

In order to resolve this issue, I think that everyone should be more open-minded when it comes to women being in CTE courses, both in high school and in the adult world. Females are capable of doing what males can do and vice-versa, so people should not limit anyone by thinking that one gender is not capable of doing the same job as the other. I also think that females should pursue their passion in CTE classes, regardless of what other people say or think.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Bridging the gap”

  1. Katie on February 26th, 2018 1:59 pm

    This is really interesting, I hadn’t thought much about it, but this is really thought provoking!

    [Reply]

  2. Cole T. on February 28th, 2018 2:28 pm

    As a guy, I completely understand. We get so much more than women that’s it’s just stupid. People think the US isn’t actually that sexist, but no, it really, really is. If your a woman, you have to be so much better than your male equivalent just to get his job. that NEEDS to change.

    [Reply]

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