Sometimes I wonder how much of my working life trying to to make changes to the state of things has been spent doing the wrong things, or ineffectual things. Trying to have an impact on the gendered structure of education and employment in science and technology feels like one of those things sometimes.
I recently did some research on the participation of women in further education courses in science and technology and the results were depressing. It looks as if we are still educating young women for the usual gendered roles- but have changed the labels attached to the job. These jobs are no longer labelled secretarial and clerical workers (feminised) they are called data-base, and office-communication assistants - so the jobs now appear in the ICT workforce statistics, and can be erroneously interpreted as a change in the gendered structure of jobs. But it look as if we are still educating some young women (men) for a lifetime of dead-end jobs. The paper that I wrote to report on this is published in the most recent issue of the International Journal of Gender Science and Technology.