Take a moment and in your mind picture a CEO, an Astronaut or a Doctor.
Did you think of a man or a woman? Many of us believe that we are not biased against people who are different to us, that we are all inclusive. However, there are many gender stereotypes. Some may seem perfectly innocent. For example, men are better drivers or women are more motherly. They may seem like harmless assumptions, but subconsciously they reinforce gender inequalities between men and women. Women can be excellent drivers the same as men can be very nurturing.
I was raised by a single mother in Liverpool and was the first person in my family to go to university. I moved to London in 2005 and started working on a graduate programme at an engineering company. Looking back now it was a very masculine environment, but it was my first professional job. I didn’t know any different and I was just delighted to have moved to the capital. I was very fortunate that I had a supportive manager. I was the first finance graduate they had employed, as they had only ever taken on engineering graduates before me, and he was determined to make his protégé a success.