WomenEd Blogs

Gendered Stereotypes Blogs from WomenEd

The Path to Equity #EmbraceEquity

By Vivienne Porritt   @ViviennePorritt Our team of Global Strategic Leaders were thrilled we gained Registered Charity status before Christmas. It was even more special as these are the charitable objects we want to achieve: to promote equality and diversity for the public benefit by eliminating discrimination on the grounds of gender by raisi...

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Jacinda Ardern: a very human leader

By Viv Griffiths Jacinda Ardern's resignation announcement last week, without apparent prior warning, naturally came as a shock. She gave a characteristically honest and at times emotional speech explaining her reasons for stepping down from her role as prime minister of New Zealand: "Politicians are human. We give all that we can, for as long as w...

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Girls, Physics and Planet Possibility

by Christina Astin @ChristinaAstin (Chair of Planet Possibility), Marilyn Comrie @GetMeMotoring (Director of The Blair Project) and Olivia Keenan @oliviakeenan1 (SEPnet and QMUL). Some young people, including girls, are put off studying physics because of misconceived stereotypes. Planet Possibility is a consortium working to change this, radically...

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WomenEd Bookclub: Hello. I am talking

by  Kerry Jordan-Daus @KerryJordanDaus

I have been reading Mary Ann Sieghart’s The Authority Gap (2021), the stories of expert, talented, successful women, occupying a wide range of powerful leadership roles, recounting their lived experiences of being treated as a ‘Miss Nobody’, silenced, ignored and disrespected despite their clear expertise, intelligence, brilliance.

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Anger and Hope

by Nicole Rodden @NicoleRodden1

At the #WomenEd global unconference this weekend the word ‘anger’ was repeated. ‘Anger and hope leads to change’ by Dr Jill Berry. Being falsely called aggressive and angry, a stereotype of black women in particular, as mentioned in Caroline Verdant’s session. The need for an Angry Girls Club being set up in schools for girls to vent, mentioned by Emily Rosaman. Similarly, words like ‘vent’, ‘rage’ and ‘shock’ were used to describe some of the injustices within people’s stories linked to instances of racism and sexism within the sector.

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Assumptions – and why we need to continue to challenge them

by Tanya Hall @TheRealTMH

A recent Twitter post by @AdamMGrant got me thinking about the assumptions associated with women in education: are 'women who assert their ideas, make direct requests, and advocate for themselves liked less' and are they 'less likely to get hired?'  So, I go back to my first promotion to 2nd in faculty – an internal post – where I was interviewed by the HOD and Headteacher. After being successfully appointed I was told later – quite some time later – that the headteacher had referred to me as a ‘firecracker.’ What did he mean by that?

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Choose to Challenge - #IWD2021

 by Anna Ambrose  @AnnaAmbrose

On Friday 6th March, 2021, I noticed a thing on my Facebook feed. It was the last day (for now at least, fingers crossed) of home-schooling for families in England. And men were busy thanking their amazing wives* for home-schooling their children. There were gifts. Flowers. Champagne. The works. How lovely.

[*Obviously not everyone is married. But these posts were genuinely all about wives, so I may over-use the word in what follows.]

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How can school leaders help fix the leaky STEM pipeline?

By Christina Astin @ChristinaAstin

The proportion of girls choosing A level physics and pursuing STEM careers has remained stubbornly low for decades. But recent research should give us hope. We understand much better now what helps fix the leaky STEM pipeline. Unfortunately, society still peddles the view that science is not for girls. Does it matter and can school leaders help?

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How I Will Never Let A Single Girl Get Lost On My Watch!

by Annelouise Jordan @Leazy84  Based on @WomenEdBookClub discussion.

The Lost Girls, by Charlotte M. Woolley, truly redefined me as a teacher and, when I say redefined, I truly mean it.

Fact - science is sexist. Charlotte writes about the sexism found in science with reference to the ‘scientific evidence’ published in typical women’s magazines such as ‘Playboy’ with the headlines ‘Do men cheat on their women? The science says yes!’ So if science is sexist then so are we, most of us rely on science, we listen to the scientists, government advisors link closely with scientists. This therefore is extremely damaging to society and even us as educators.To know it is sexist automatically made me think to myself, am I really certain of the things I believe to be true?

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Exploring the label of ‘the angry black woman’

by Dr Valerie Daniel @Valerie_JKD

As a black professional woman I am in this intersectional space of being somewhat respected by my peers whilst still being marginalised within the wider society. I say ‘somewhat’ respected because my entire journey here in England from 1989 until now has been fraught with ‘you are too passionate’; ‘you are very sensitive’; ‘I don’t mean to be offensive or anything but.......’ and my personal favourite ‘You have a chip on your shoulder’.

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Time for men to ‘woman up’! The #HeForSheAtHome challenge

by Patrick Ottley-O'Conner @ottleyoconnor   Father and Husband


The United Nations @HeForShe movement has reported that they are seeing the stereotypical gender roles of women at home become more apparent during lockdown and want to highlight positive male models with their new lockdown hashtag of #HeForSheAtHome. Globally women do more than men at home and @HeForShe are asking men to share photos to amplify support & show how you are being #HeForSheAtHome and amplify the aspiration for gender equality.

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Missing the Moment

by Elise Ecoff @EliseEcoff      #BirthdayCelebration   Photo by Rampal Singh on Unsplash

Quarantine. Lockdown. Social distancing. Whatever you choose to call the way in which we’ve lived the last few pandemic-filled months, it has clearly been a period in our existence like none other. Endless time spent at home has made us keenly aware of the days, hours, minutes, and moments in our lives as they slowly tick by. And the collective experience of women during this period has been particularly challenging.

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Our Knowledge-Rich Curriculum: a woman’s touch!

by Tara Bryan @Bryan_Amethyst

I’ve got no shame in saying it: I love Calamity Jane. Doris Day was my first heroine before I even knew what a heroine was, and even then I instinctively recognised in Ol’ Calam’ herself something that would often be a hallmark of the characters that Doris Day played in all of her films.

She would always seem to play a woman often confined by the expectations of her time, her place, her job, her society, but through sheer charm, force of personality and feminine wiles she would always manage to outfox and outwit the men around her, who would continually underestimate her.

Sure, she would always end up married, or with the guy in the end, but not before the audience knew that she would spend the rest of their lives together running rings around him and getting exactly what she wanted. A woman after my own heart! Even that song… ‘A Woman’s Touch’. On the surface a silly ditty about two women who decorate a log cabin with trinkets, knick-knacks and chintzy sprinkles, a song that seems so patronising and twee about what a woman can be… but I saw it differently. It was a song about self-sufficiency and how to live a life without needing a man to make all her decisions.

Yes, she ended up with the man who didn’t deserve her, but we knew after hearing that song that she was only doing it because she wanted to.

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