3 Ways YOU Can Invest in the Future of Tech Voc
Nov 05, 2021
We’ve all been subjected to biases and stereotypes. It’s part of our history, culture, traditions, and even our societal systems in governance and power. It’s something that we’ve grown accustomed to and has unconsciously been ingrained in us, even from before a child is born. From the simple ‘blue is for boys and pink for girls,’ we grow up receiving daily messages about our preconceived roles and the standards we have to keep up with to play the part.
But, just because it’s been a longstanding problem, it doesn’t mean we have to fall victim to those ideals. Instead, we find ways to challenge them.
In Tech Voc, there are all kinds of gender-based challenges, from programs being structured for men, to women being looked down on in labor-intensive jobs, and industries being femininely or masculinely linked. By that, it’s up to us to flip the narrative and find ways to counteract them when it happens!
Check your biases!
Before anything, look within yourself. As previously mentioned, we’ve all grown up with biases that have become inherent to us. So, take a long hard look at how you view Tech Voc and ask yourself the tough questions! Think about what conclusions you jump to when you hear Tech Voc and from there, get to the root of the “why?”
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell when you’re holding biases, so the best ways to do that is through:
- Learning from the community, such as reading credible sources, talking to someone in the sectors or tuning into roundtable discussions to and from them;
- Engaging in conversations with peers of how they view Tech Voc, as well;
- And watching our language when we talk about those sectors to others.
We learn a lot through sitting down and getting to the root of those affected and by interacting with peers on the subject. It’s easy to think in our head that we’re above biases, but when we’re with others, it becomes a two-way conversation to get feedback, learn more perspectives, and hold ourselves accountable.
Learning and unlearning is a continuous process, but what matters most is taking that first step to truly empathize and understand. Be open to new perspectives, especially from those who are affected the most.
Kick stereotypes to the curb!
The things inherent to us most often reflect a bigger picture in society. While we are in the process of learning, we need to encourage others to progress their preconceived notions too. The same way we’ve recognized biases in ourselves, we need to help others realize their biases, too.
The way we face these stereotypes is usually on a local and personal level. So, we must be alert and help others (and even ourselves!) every day by doing the following:
- Questioning and pointing out the stereotypes as you hear them;
- Explaining in a helpful tone why particular views and attitudes can be harmful and linking others to credible resources;
- Calling out the unfair standards placed in the sector;
- And encouraging men to be better allies to women in Tech Voc.
This can be a touchy subject and can quickly turn into a heated argument, so it’s essential to learn how to talk constructively and be cool and collected in communicating with others. Remember that we are all here for a common good, so no one is really the enemy. No one is born being aware of all these things, so whether you just realized yesterday or today, it doesn’t matter. The more allies, the better!
Educate others in a way that says you’re genuine and you deeply care. And most importantly, put the Tech Voc community at the heart of your discussions, rather than making it about what others have done wrong or how you’re right about a certain issue.
Build the community up!
As we go through the motions, we mustn’t just stop at awareness. We need to take action and stand with those in the sector! We have to show our support for those in the industry and those interested in being a part of it. We can do this by standing with workers in the issues and challenges they face. And at the same time, building their confidence as active supporters and listeners to their struggle.
Tech Voc has always been the backbone of our society. For far too long, it’s been undervalued and underestimated, so we need to counteract those notions through:
- Giving importance to Tech Voc and its place in society;
- Amplifying the voices of the sector by resharing sources or being part of organizations that sheds light on them;
- Supporting workers in Tech Voc by standing with them in their issues and fighting for their rights;
- Uplifting women in Tech Voc and building up confidence for those interested or wish to be a part;
- And championing for inclusive and diverse industries always.
Many communities today, such as women in Tech Voc have formed their own support groups to shed light on what they face. With that, we just need to help spread their scope and give them a platform.
And the same way we are building up the community, it’s important we also call out the industry. We can only do so much as individuals, so we need a call of action for those at the top! There are companies today that advocate for learning programs for women, implement gender sensitivity training, and give equal opportunities to marginalized sectors. But we also need the majority to keep it up.
Keep fighting, keep supporting, and keep amplifying voices as long as these standards exist and as long as there are obstacles to overcome.
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