Reflective Essay on Choosing Career Choice

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The role of Women in the digital world was one of the topics that was presented to us on the 11th of October, 2019 by our guest lecturer Paula Neary, a Managing Director within Accenture’s Health and Public Service practice in Ireland. Her extensive experience in leading the successful design and execution of large-scale, complex business and ICT transformation programs across the public service makes her a noteworthy and trusted individual in her field. She delivered a very moving lecture on the current situation of Women in the Technological Industry using various quantitative data and analyses backing up her every claim and notion which was divided into various sub-topics. The various gender imbalances when it came to the number of women pursuing careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) were also emphasized deeply by Paula during her presentation.

Various points made by Paula really did open our eyes to the issues women face in technology and why we actually require women in the digital economy for example to fill in the STEM skills shortages, the advantage women have over men when it comes to multitasking, etc. This is where she brought up the influences and barriers regarding this issue and put up statistical information that showed how parents and teachers influenced the decision made by males and females in determining their future career choices and decisions; around 49% of females have their career aspirations influenced by their parents and about 58% of career choices in the STEM field have been dropped by children due to issues with their teachers. The argument of stereotypical perceptions also playing a major role in determining career choices is something that really does resonate with current trends in society. The perception that boys are more likely to be influenced by money and the viewpoint that men are more likely to move into the engineering and IT field due to the stereotypical mindset of parents backed by her statistical data shined a very bright light on what’s really happening in the modern world. Paula’s arguments and statistical data on stereotypes, gender imbalances, and lack of female role models in the field of Science and Technology do provide a real insight into the main topic at hand, but one can’t stop themselves from asking the question of what were the root causes of these various stereotypes, what historical and modern-day factors influenced such a trend and what along with the points highlighted by Paula caused this huge imbalance of the role of Women in Technology???

After digging into the subject and doing some research myself, I was able to find out that the women in our society have been discriminated against legally, functionally, and structurally in different ways since the 1800s. Surprisingly ancient history records many strong female figures, rulers, and warriors who performed acts that the history writers thought worthy of recording. Names such as Cleopatra, Boudicca, and Esther echo down history to the present day. Even in the early Christian church, there is evidence that women could hold positions of influence equal to men. But all this changed throughout the centuries and even today women cannot be priests in the Catholic church which has followed on from these early traditions. It is only really in the twentieth century that women made any gains in equality which in my opinion is nothing short of revolutionary. Women’s groups were able to campaign successfully to be granted the right to vote. Even during the two world wars women showed their potential by taking the place of men in factories, that they could work outside the home as well as within it, and that they could contribute equally as men to the economy. After World War II, many women were reluctant to go back to their previous lives. They enjoyed the sense of purpose and camaraderie. The feminist revolution of the sixties and seventies went on to change women's experiences forever. While full equality has now been reached it is now natural to see female politicians, doctors, business leaders, and writers. It seems crazy now that a woman could be dismissed as automatically dumber than a man, or that a woman could be barred from a profession because of her gender. This was one of the reasons why I chose to reflect on this topic as I felt that the role of women in the digital field of the industry should not be influenced by stereotypical notions. They should be given the same recognition and considered based on their ability, knowledge, and skill in their career choice. In fact, their career choice should not be based on usual notions of a career in Science and Technology for example but based on their true passion and what they want to pursue not on what they must.

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One of the points that did stand out for me personally during the presentation was the lack of female role models in the field of Science and Technology. In fact, the main reason for me to get into the career of Audit and Assurance was because I had a really good role model in the form of my father. So, I do understand the need to have a positive influence from an experienced figure, guiding your career on the right path and making sure you take the appropriate steps to be successful in the future. This is why in my opinion this factor needs to improve in order to see any sort of positive change in this field for women now and for the future generations. Another particularly key factor that can be a major influence for us to see a rise in women in STEM subjects and its resulting careers is the information about STEM and the careers itself. Around 31% of parents and 37% of teachers feel that there is inadequate information about STEM subjects which is staggeringly low and could also explain why most of the students today are unaware of the opportunities in this field. This might also be a contributing factor to the stereotypical notion of how STEM subjects match careers for males over females as well. The fact that most of them are unaware of the opportunities along with this stereotype could explain why young people are still yet to be convinced that STEM offers equal opportunities to all along with subconscious stereotyping of STEM subjects as well.

This is something I agree with completely as I have seen this happen in India and within my family in particular as well. The common perception in Indian culture for parents is for their male children to either be engineers or doctors and female children to go into the field of management or commerce to be eventually married off to a good well to do family where she will be taking care of the family as a housewife. Parents in India decide their kid's careers rather than them finding their own career path and pursuing something that they are personally passionate about. This stereotype has changed over the past few years, but I still see it in practice quite often even today.

In my opinion, the issues mentioned by Paula really need to be addressed to see more participation of women not only in STEM but in other fields too. The fact that even in the 21st century such perceptions and stereotypes still exist is surprising to be honest as one would never think of it existing at all. This presentation was a real revelation not only for me personally but for everyone who was unaware of such issues still affecting the lives of women in today's society. The first step to overcome such prehistoric notions is to make people aware of the issue and back it up with numbers and facts which was done amazingly by Paula. I believe only after that can we expect to take the next step and do something about the issue itself.

At the end of the day what is important is that women have a choice about how they want to be and behave and how they spend their time. Women throughout history have not always had that choice - often society has placed strict controls on them. We honestly owe a debt of gratitude to the women who did take the initial steps to fight for equality and thus change the role of women in society forever.

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Reflective Essay on Choosing Career Choice. (2023, December 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
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