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Mind the gender gap!

June 14, 2005

Hello again. This is an entirely unscientifically proven theory, but I have the impression that, although women account for the larger part of the English language teaching workforce, they are disproportionately represented at management level. I say this because whenever I talk to the senior staff in schools, I seem to talk to more men than women.

First, I'd really like to know if this perception is true. If I'm wrong, then I'd be relieved because I'd like to think that in a "people" profession, women have a good chance of reaching the top. But if I'm right, I'd like to know why. Is this just another example of the continuing discrimination against women that seems so difficult to overcome? Do men and women go into ELT for different motives? Perhaps once the female teacher has seen the world, she goes back home and enters a different sphere. Or perhaps women see promotion as taking them into administrative areas when they'd really prefer to stay in teaching. I'd really like to get the fuller picture on this issues so please let me know how you see the balance of the sexes in ELT.

Back soon, Patricia.

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