By Joan Runnheim Olson
Whether you are a career coach, counselor, advisor, educator, or parent, your values and beliefs can affect how you interact with females and males. And, ultimately it may affect how you guide a student, client, or your child in exploring their career options. These options include careers traditionally held by females or by males. Take the quiz below and jot down if you respond never, rarely, sometimes, or always to each question.
1. Do I react (perhaps feel funny inside) when I hear that a male wants to pursue a career as a nurse or become an administrative assistant? Would I discourage such aspirations in a male?
2. Do I expect females to be better at literature and writing than males?
3. Do I treat females and males and different ethnic groups similarly with regard to application of classroom rules and privileges?
4. Do I give similar encouragement to females and males in identifying strengths and assets?
5. Is my language free of sex bias with regard to: Use of masculine terminology to refer to all people? Use or acceptance of derogatory terminology to refer to members of either gender? Use of word order which consistently places males first (he or she, boys and girls, men and women)?
6. Do I interact with females and males with regard to: Maintaining eye contact with them? Considering their points of view? Waiting for answers to questions?
How did you score? Was this quiz an eye-opener for you? Are there some areas in which you may want to question your beliefs and values? Source: Improving Sex Equity in Postsecondary Technical Programs: A Resource Manual, Austin, TX: North State Texas University, and adapted from MECCA Trainer’s Guide, Utah State Department of Education.