Third of teen girls planning to ‘break the glass ceiling’ in male-dominated fields

Teenage girls want to “break the glass ceiling”, with 37 per cent wanting a career in a traditionally male dominated field, according to a survey.

A poll of 2,000 women and girls aged between 13 and 19 found one-third of those likely to choose a traditionally male career path would be interested in pursuing a career in science, while 31 per cent were keen to explore a job in engineering.

More than eight in 10 of these believed they were just as capable as their male counterparts of performing certain roles. More than one-quarter felt themselves more capable than boys.

In addition, more than 81 per cent said it is important their career made a “positive contribution” to society.

The research was commissioned by British Gas, which has committed to creating 3,500 apprenticeships over the next decade with the ambition for half of all new recruits to be women.

Jessica Rawstron, a British Gas engineer, said: “My inspiration initially came from my dad, who specialised in the gas field for many years.

“And with the support of my family, friends and colleagues, my confidence has grown ever since the day I first started as an apprentice.

“There are no stereotypes to conform to and we value the diversity in our team.”

Pollsters found that 36 per cent of girls who were keen to pursue a career in a traditionally male field had been positively influenced by their teachers and 44 per cent had been inspired to do so by their family.

This was despite 56 per cent saying none of their own female family members worked in any of these industries.

Nonetheless, 64 per cent said they believed it was easier for women to get a role in an industry like energy, construction or engineering today, compared to when their mother was the age they are now.

But 62 per cent were convinced their gender would still have some sort of impact on their future job prospects, with 70 per cent saying there were still barriers that made it difficult for women to land a particular role.

More gender equality within the workplace was the top improvement those polled wanted to see for working women in the future (43 per cent).

Having the same job opportunities as men (42 per cent), better help with childcare (39 per cent) and better pay (38 per cent) also featured high on the list.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll, found 73 per cent of girls were confident Britain would see more women in traditionally male dominated roles in the near future.

And although the average female teen said they thought it would take 15 years until there was total gender equality within the workplace, 72 per cent agreed their generation would be the one to make this change happen.

Ms Rawstron added: “Young women have more opportunities than ever before – both in terms of the roles available to us, and the impact we can have on the world around us.”

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