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Wates partners with the Fawcett Society on Equal Play campaign

Wates has partnered with the Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, on a new Equal Play campaign to support parents, care givers and influential adults to challenge gender stereotypes with their children.

Research undertaken by Fawcett has found gender expectations significantly limit children. It says that these stereotypes are harmful as children conform to these societal expectations and develop life goals in line with these expectations, which leads to limited career choices and contributes to the gender pay gap.

The research also found that stereotypes contribute towards the mental health crisis among children and young people, are at the root of girls’ problems with body image and eating disorders and are associated with higher male suicide rates and violence against women and girls.

Equal Play

Equal Play will provide parents and caregivers with practical tips and resources to challenge stereotypes in their interactions with children, as well as running a series of events with insights from experts and opportunities for parents to feed in their own experiences. Anyone wishing to attend events and take part in the campaign can sign up online.

Practical ways to promote equal play include avoiding unnecessary segregation, demonstrating that play activities are inclusive for all and providing examples of people doing activities or jobs which are the reverse of the gender stereotypes.

Our’ ‘House of the Future’ programme – a ‘build-it-yourself’ model home – is an example of this, giving children an inclusive, hands-on experience of the skills needed to create sustainable homes.

Wates hopes that the programme will enable children to have early and equal opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills, and aspirations for the future, as well as encouraging more girls to consider a career within the built environment. Women make up just 28 per cent of the STEM workforce and only 14 per cent of the workforce in construction.

Around 400 people tuned into the campaign’s first virtual event, Boys Online: Parenting Against Internet Misogyny, which looked at how parents can support their children to navigate online spaces safely. The panel included the writer, campaigner and broadcaster Natasha Devon MBE, Elliott Rae, founder of the parenting platform MusicFootballFatherhood and Janaya Walker, Public Affairs Manager, End Violence Against Women.

Eoghan O’Lionaird, Chief Executive, Wates said: “At Wates, we aim to be a fair place to work, enabling greater diversity of talent, skills, and experience. We know, that once embedded, preconceptions can be hard to shift, and it’s essential that we do what we can to open young people’s minds to what they could be doing with their lives and their future.  This new partnership with the Fawcett Society is just one of the ways we are continuing to work to breaking down systemic barriers and creating opportunities for everyone. people.”

This is the second time Wates has worked together with the Fawcett Society, following the publication last year of the largest-ever survey of menopausal women in the workplace.

Jemima Olchawski, Fawcett Society Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to once again be working with Wates on Equal Play, Fawcett’s campaign to support parents, caregivers, childcare practitioners, and influential adults to resist gender stereotypes in the early years. We had fantastic success with Wates’ support on our landmark report Menopause and the Workplace, and it is great to have them on board demonstrating a commitment to gender equality at all stages of life.

“We know that gender norms and stereotypes imposed on girls in early childhood can affect their outcomes, with a lower take-up of STEM subjects later in life. It’s on all of us to ensure girls’ potential is not limited by gendered assumptions, and it’s fantastic to see a company like Wates taking this step with us.”

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