Young women choosing careers: who decides?

Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice

Young women choosing careers: who decides?

Report authors: Jo Gleeson, Lucas Walsh, Beatriz Gallo Cordoba, Masha Mikola, Cathy Waite and Blake Cutler

Our latest discussion paper reports the findings from a survey of over 1300 young women in years 10 to 12 from four Victorian schools. The data provides a window into young women’s experiences when choosing their career destinations in school, and how their transitions to post-school life are enmeshed in long-term social, political and economic change.

On International Youth Day 2022, the Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice (CYPEP) launches its latest discussion paper: Young women choosing careers: who decides?

When selecting their career choices at school, how much choice do young women really have and who or what shapes their perceived choices? This paper draws on the responses of over 1,300 (1,339) female students in Years 10 - 12 at four schools in Victoria. The schools included government, Catholic school independent secondary schools from a range of socio-economic areas.

Lead author Dr Jo Gleeson says that “despite being better educated and more ambitious than previous generations, the young women who participated in our research seem far from liberated. We need to rethink career education in homes, schools and beyond.”

Co-author of the report, Professor Lucas Walsh says: “This report provides a window into young women’s current anxieties when choosing their career destinations in school. Many experience high levels of stress and worry about choosing a career. Particularly concerning is that a third are concerned about ever achieving a real career or feel they have no career direction.”

Co-author, Dr Beatriz Gallo Cordoba says: “It’s not uncommon to hear that ‘women can do anything they choose’, but the young women from a range of backgrounds in our study feel like they have limited options when choosing a career.”

Discussing the findings from Young women choosing careers: who decides?

To launch the report, our panel discuss the findings of the survey. Presenters at this event include report authors, Professor Lucas Walsh, Director, Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice, Dr Joanne Gleeson, Research Fellow, Q Project, Monash Education, and Dr Beatriz Gallo Cordoba, Research Fellow, Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice; as well as Ms Katrina Reynen OAM, Chair, CYPEP Advisory Board and, Ms Isobel Thomas, CYPEP Youth Reference Group.