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Girls & Women

Watch what happens when you ask kids to draw a surgeon, a firefighter and a fighter-pilot

A child’s aspirations should not be limited by their gender. This powerful video by UK charity Inspiring the Future proves why the fight for gender equality needs to start early. 

In the video, a group of boys and girls aged 5-7 years, are asked to complete a simple task: draw a picture of a firefighter, a surgeon, and a fighter-pilot. 

(Spoiler alert) Out of all the pictures drawn in the session, 61 were men and only 5 were women.

The result points to the complex issue of how gender stereotypes become ingrained early in a child’s development.

Lines like “He’s big and strong,” “He gives you medicine,” or “That’s his jet plane,” reveal how quickly children internalise these stereotypical roles.

Evidence shows that children do not simply grow out of them. In the UK, only 13% of workers in STEM industries are women. In the US, women make up 47% of the workforce but are under-represented in science and techonlogy. Only 39% of chemical and material scientists, and just 12% of civil engineers are women. 

Luckily, there are women pioneers taking on careers in traditionally male-dominated fields. In the video's surprise twist, the children are given the opportunity to meet a real-life firefighter, surgeon and fighter-pilot.  

Created with  MullenLowe London, the short film aims urges viewers to ‘redraw the balance’ by inspiring children to believe they can pursue any career opportunity open to them in the future, regardless of their gender.

Inspiring the Future aims to widen young people’s ambition and aspirations through a network of volunteers, offering career advice to students in schools across the UK. 

“It’s our responsibility as working professionals, as well as educators, to encourage and inspire young minds that the majority of jobs and roles today are available for women and not just men,” said Richard Denney, Executive Creative Director of  MullenLowe London. “These young minds are our future.” 

CLICK HERE to find out more about Inspiring the Future