We are what we do!
− To reflect about the diversity of jobs/professions in today’s world
− To link these professions to gender and to reflect about it
− To show that professions traditionally associated to one of the genders can be done by both
− To develop creative ability and imagine performing non-traditional professions
− To understand the difference between sex and gender
− To deconstruct gender stereotypes
− To develop skills of critical analysis
In the end of the session the participants will be able to understand how the gender stereotypes can influence their vocational/professional choices, and have a critical analysis upon that. The participants should realize that any person, regardless his/her gender, can perform any profession. It is expected also that participants will be able to distinguish between sex and gender and how this is important to deconstruct stereotypes and to develop an open mindset.
All groups/ society
Number of participants: 12 – 20 people
(1 - very easy, 5 - very difficult)
Degree of expertise needed - 2
The amount of work to prepare and implement the scenario - 2
Relative overall cost predicted - 1
3 hours ( with one 15 minutes after the Activity 2)
Room with capacity for nearly 25 persons
Chairs (one per persons) disposed at U shape
Two tables for the supporting materials
Paper; pens (one pen per participant); flipchart and markers
Copy of “The Professions” (Annex 1) – one per participant
Copy of “ Sex and Gender” (Annex 2) – one per participant
The facilitator should have prepared one copy per participant of the two forms to be used in this session: Annex 1 and Annex 2; for the timekeeping it is needed a clock or a mobile phone.
Session’s presentation: objectives and sequence and the expected time of the session.
Introduction game for presenting the facilitator and each participant – “As you see me”. This exercise serves to introduce the participants but also to discuss how we can judge the others based on the first impressions.
− Each person writes his/her name in a paper and places it in the floor in front of him.
− Each person writes his/her name in a small piece of paper and gives it to the facilitator who puts all the papers inside a bag.
− Each participant takes out a paper from the bag and writes, in the same paper, one characteristic that he/she thinks that person has. For instance: what he/she likes to do, what he/she likes to eat; what sports he/she practice or is fond of.
− Then, each participant gives this paper to the respective person.
− One by one, the participants read their paper and say if it is true or not. (15 min)
Activity “Professions in today’s world” (60 min)
1. The facilitator gives a form “The Professions” (Annex 1) to each participant and asks them to fill it. Then all the participants, one by one, will read their answers, to the group.
2. The facilitator notes all non-consensual responses and asks to the persons to explain their answers.
3. One by one each participant transmit their reasons to the others.
4. The facilitator guides a discussion about the different ways of performing a specific profession (i.e. to practice a traditionally male or female profession is not to make it as a man or as a woman) and he/she highlight the non-conventional answers.
5. Then he/she asks about what they thought when filling their forms: in which professions they had doubts? Why? It was easy or not? Their doubts were doing to ‘natural’ characteristics or to cultural assets?
Activity “Sex and Gender” (60 min)
1. The facilitator asks the participants to write, individually, sentences associated to the subject of Gender Equality at Work and in Society, in general. (10 min)
2. One by one each participant reads his/her sentence. (10 min)
3. Then, the facilitator splits the group in two: one group should provide arguments, justifications that support gender equality in our society, the other group should give examples of situations of gender inequality. (10 min)
4. One redactor (previously chosen) should write, in a flipchart, the most important topics.
5. Then, the facilitator distributes the form “Sex and Gender” (Annex 2) by the participants (one form by participant) and asks them to fill it. (10 min)
6. The facilitator asks the participants to share their answers to the group. (10 min)
7. After each of the participant had transmitted their answers, the facilitator summarizes and consolidates the definitions of gender and sex, asking the participants to think about the following topics:
a) Is it unchangeable (do not changes over times)?
b) Is it natural or a societal construct?
c) Is it specific, proper of a specific culture? (10 min)
The facilitator makes a review of the activities performed until now and asks the participants the following questions: (30 min)
− Did they ever thought in these terms before?
− The gender stereotypes had previously influenced them in choosing their professions/jobs or the way of life they want to have?
− Have they ever felt any obstacle, embarrassment, on the part of people close to them (family, friends, colleagues) about their unconventional gender choices?
− How they dealt with it?
− The activities of this sessions had contributed to a different way of thinking in regard to gender stereotypes at work and at society? In what extent?
− Attendance list
− Evaluation method: The 5 fingers of a hand:
- Thumb - what I considered cool?
- Forefinger: what I point out (for good or for bad)?
- Middle finger: what I considered bad?
- Ring finger: my relation with the group of participants?
- Little finger: what was not enough?
Pinto, A. I, Grande, C., Cavalheiro, C., Carmo D., Pinto, I. M., Mendonça, M., Matias, M., and Leal T., 2008. Notai, Notas para a Igualdade. In the framework of the EQUAL project EXITO.
Ideas for action
− This session also can be made using images of professions previously collected from newspapers and magazines;
− For the brainstorming about gender stereotypes at work (Activity 2 “Sex and Gender”, step 1), the facilitator cans ask the participants to transmit patterns they observe in their daily life, at home, with their parents, brothers and sisters, colleagues of college or of work, etc.
− The facilitator asks the participants to observe, from now on situations that show gender inequalities and comments that denote prejudices and gender stereotypes.
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Make it Better
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