Teenage girls set their sights on lower paying jobs than boys

Research from Child of the New Century discovered that there is a big gender divide in the types of jobs and wages that boys and girls aspire to.

When you were 14, we asked you a series of questions to find out what you wanted to do as a job. For girls, the most popular jobs they aspired to were: the medical profession (8%), a secondary school teacher (8%), a singer (6%), working in the legal profession (5%), a vet (5%), a nurse (4%) and a midwife (4%).

The most popular for boys were: a professional sportsman (12%), a software developer (6%), an engineer (6%), being in the Armed Forces (4%), an architect (4%) and a secondary school teacher (4%).

Researchers looked into what your predicted future wage was based on these dream careers. They found that girls wanted to work in lower paying jobs: the average hourly wage for the occupations girls aspired to was 27% lower than that of boys.

Overall, teenage girls set their sights higher than boys when thinking about their education prospects. On average, girls thought they had a 71% chance of going to university, and 14% of girls were 100% certain they would go. Boys were less sure; their average expectation was 63%, and just under 10% were absolutely convinced they would get to university.

Professor Lucinda Platt, co-author of the research, said: “Our findings drive home the importance of recognising the role of both boys’ and girls’ choices in perpetuating labour market inequalities. At school and at home, girls and boys should be encouraged and supported to think beyond gender stereotypes and explore the full range of future career options open to them.”