FACTBase Bulletin 62 - Filling the Pool Starts Early: Learnings from Queensland

The latest FACTBase Bulletin by the Committee for Perth reports on the findings of the Hands up for Gender Equality study, which examines gender differences in career interests and why self-confidence and self-doubt play such a significant role in limiting women’s career progress. Numerous studies into this area have shown women’s level of self-confidence, relative to men’s, declines from the age of nine and remains lower through to their mid-seventies.

Key Findings
  • A study of approximately 10,000 students from Queensland’s top 13 single-sex schools identified no significant differences in the overall levels of self-confidence between girls and boys.
  • Travel, team sports and participation in leadership roles are the main self-confidence generating activities. Girls and boys gained equal levels of self-confidence in each of these three activities.
  • The main differences between girls and boys are that girls spend more time studying per week; boys spend more time on outdoor chores and activities; girls express more enthusiasm for career interests and desire to work; and boys benefit from 1.5 times the amount of campus space and 3 times the amount of outdoor space compared to girls.
  • Girls and boys express interest in significantly different career options when entering high school, and these interests remain largely unchanged throughout their high school years. Girls showed the strongest preference for social services and healthcare, whereas boys showed a clear preference for science and technology.
  • Awareness of parents’ careers and qualifications begins earlier for boys and remains greater than girls throughout high school.
Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.