Opinion: Ensuring there are no barriers to achieving goals

We should never really be surprised by what comes out of the mouth of babes with the younger members of our communities often making some very innocent but shrewd observations.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 4:45 pm

None more than this week when a colleague received the dreaded call from the nursery to pic up offspring No2 who was showing all the signs of the dreaded lurgy – thankfully not Covid but a summer cold.

Arriving home, mum and daughter settled down beside each other on the couch as my colleague rushed to join a daily video conference.

The wee one took note of all the little ‘blocks’ of faces on the computer screen before questioning: “Where are all the girls?”

The Scottish Government guidance has been issued to all schools. Picture: Getty Images

And she was correct.

Apart from her mum who was sitting beside her, all those taking part were men, and I’m sure our colleagues won’t mind me saying, middle-aged men.

What sort of introduction to the workplace is that for a little girl?

I’m in a profession which has always be to the fore for equality in the workplace but even here female managers are well-outnumber by male counterparts.

It appears that even in 2021 there are either fewer opportunities for women to progress or women themselves are not taking up the challenges when offered.

Certainly the gender barriers have been torn down in recent decades.

My own family were incredulous when I told them that when I went to school – oh that makes me sound like Methuselah – girls were taught cookery and sewing and boys did woodwork and metalwork. At no stage was there any opportunity to cross the corridor into the domain of the opposite sex.

Thankfully by the time my two were at secondary schools education was much more enlightened allowing both to try their hands at a variety of subjects.

Despite this there still appears to be barriers, whether they be real or perceived, which could be stopping women and men achieve their full potential and ultimately, their dreams.

We need to do far more to ensure that our daughters and our sons, are given every opportunity and support to strive for their goals and reach for the stars.

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