Girls can be athletic. Guys can have feelings. Girls can be
smart. Guys can be creative. And vice versa. Gender is specific only
to your reproductive organs (and sometimes not even to those), not
your interest, likes, dislikes, goals, and ambitions. ― Connor Franta,
A Work in Progress
There are many professions and vocations out there that are
traditionally more popular with one gender.
But if you're passionate about a career area that's normally
associated with the other gender, these stereotypes and expectations
can be limiting – both for women and men. As a result, all of society
We say ignore the expectations and follow your passion regardless.
There's nothing wrong with being the only girl or guy in the class.
In some areas there's a whole new collective surge of interest from
unexpected quarters. For example, Western Sydney Institute is
reporting a huge increase in enrolments from female jockeys. More than
half of the 265 students currently enrolled at the Australian Racing and Equine
Academy at Richmond are female. So far the women are showing that
they are just as skilled as their male counterparts. Institute
Director Robin Shreeve describes them as "a powerhouse of talent".
There are also more and more women showing interest in the automotive
refinishing industry. Sydney TAFE's Automotive
Refinishing Technology course has seen a notable increase in
female enrolments. This line of study can lead to jobs in
"blokey" areas like smash repairs, painting and restoration.
A TAFE-trained female locksmith is also capturing attention in what's
traditionally been a male-dominated industry. Melanie Greenwood, 22,
didn't grow up dreaming of being a locksmith. Her "aha"
moment came when she accidentally locked herself out of her apartment
and was staggered at the $150 cost of engaging a locksmith. That was
when she decided it could be a career path for her. She studied for
four years at Sydney TAFE's Ultimo Campus as the only woman in a class
of 17 men.
Joanna Tsakiridis is another woman who's not afraid to stand up and
be counted in a male-dominated industry. As a glazier she cuts glass,
manufactures windows, timber sides and security doors. She studied the
III in Glass and Glazing at Lidcombe TAFE surrounded by male students.
And the gender-blurring cuts both ways as well. There are more and
more guys following their passion into female-dominated areas like early
NSW ambassador Ito Rivero knows all about this. He's blazing a
trail in the early childcare industry, providing young children with a
much-needed male role model after hundreds of men left the sector in
the 1990s. Ito is very passionate about his mission and understands
how crucial it is. "If you want to build a strong nation then you
have to build a strong foundation in children," he says.
Veterinary nursing is another industry with a dearth of men. But that
didn't stop James following his passion for animals into a career as a
vet nurse. He was the only bloke in his Certificate
IV in Veterinary Nursing class at TAFE Western's Orange College,
but held his own with the women.
Ultimately it comes down to being true to yourself rather than
following societal expectations. After all, a long and fruitful career
runs on personal passion.
Discover your ideal career by taking our Career Quiz