"Klischeefrei" initiative gathers pace

BIBB supports career orientation on Girls’ and Boys’ Day

A number of well-known companies, institutions and organisations have become associated with the “Klischeefrei” [cliché free] initiative since it began in December 2016. The initiative campaigns for a world in which the choice of occupation and degree is free from gender-specific role models. The broad-based alliance comprising education, policy-making, business and academia is also associated with the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). The BIBB is also supporting career orientation free of stereotyping on Girls’ Day and Boys’ Day which this year will take place on 26 April.

“Development of the Klischeefrei initiative is pleasing to see, interest in the issue is growing, and the message is hitting home,” emphasised BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser. “We need vocational orientation which is open to all, wide-ranging and free from outdated role models and gender clichés. This represents an investment in the future – both in that of the individual people and that of the company.” Both the “Klischeefrei” initiative and the Girls' Day and Boys’ Day are seeking to increase society's awareness of how much role models and gender stereotypes influence boys and girls as they make their career choice and how the wide range of career opportunities available to them is restricted as a result. Young men and women for example predominantly select occupations which are dominated by their own gender. Even if they are really well-suited, women tend rarely to opt for occupations in the areas of IT, the skilled crafts, sciences and technology. On the other hand, antiquated views that, for example, work in education, care, sales and administration is “women's work” prevent young men from considering these occupational fields for themselves.

The annual Girls’ Day and Boys’ Day, which also supports the “Klischeefrei” initiative, provide practical activities aimed at making young people aware of the range of career options open to them. On Girls’ and Boys’ Futures Day, companies as well as numerous organisations and institutions are opening their doors across Germany on 26 April 2018. It is anticipated that around 130,000 boys and girls will again have the opportunity to find out about occupations in which the relevant gender in each case is under represented.

The BIBB will also be involved again on Girls' Day and Boys' Day 2018. Girls will be learning, for example, about the occupation of information technology specialist – specialising in systems integration; and boys will have the chance to find out about the occupation of office manager.

In addition to the BIBB, five federal ministries, several federal state ministries, the Federal Employment Agency, the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), the employers’ association Gesamtmetall as well as numerous universities and many other institutions and organisations are part of the “Klischeefrei” initiative. The patron is Elke Büdenbender, wife of the German President. The “Klischeefrei” initiative is supported by a service centre which is based at the career orientation programme office in the BIBB and at the Kompetenzzentrum Technik-Diversity-Chancengleichheit e.V.

Further information is available at www.klischee-frei.de (German only) as well as on the BIBB website under https://www.bibb.de/en/680.php

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