Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Profession is about skills, not gender | Anna Zakaryan | TEDxAparan

Translator: Emma Dovlatyan
Reviewer: Kristine Sargsyan What will you become when you grow up? You were also asked this question,
weren’t you? We all had our versions of the answer:
our childish dreams and wishes. One wanted to be a doctor, another –
a policeman, the other – a singer. However, the adults didn’t like my answer
so much: underground train driver. Every time, after proudly answering
to that question, I expected positive reinforcement
but immediately got dissapointed when instead of positive reactions
I met strange facial expressions which weren’t encouraging at all. I used to be told ”There baby see, you are a girl and you
should choose something girlish”. Or “How can this girl be a driver,
moreover a underground train driver?” So my simple wish simply remained a dream. Today, I understand that in our society
a woman can have a machine but only a washing machine. (Applause) So, what is the use of cars if
an Armenian woman should stay at home and work
in the kitchen. There are many researches on this topic. I also decided to make a survey within
my coursemates and fellow villagers. And as a result I learnt that most women
would have chosen a completely different profession if there wasn’t a pressure
from the society. Since childhood, I have been interested
in this question ”Why do we differenciate
among professions?”. Who and when decided that one profession
is for girls and the other is for boys. The problem comes from childhood,
when the kids are taught that, for example, girls should play
with dolls or with so called girlish toys. Boys should play with cars and armor. Or, boys should make friends only
with boys and girls should only have a few friends among girls. Recently, I was walking in the park when I met a group of boys
who were playing football. Not far from them, there was a girl
who was standing sadly. As usually, I approached to ask why
she was alone and learnt that the girl liked football very much
and wanted to join her friends. But they refused her, explaining
that she was a girl, she doesn’t have anything
to do with football and they will not play with her. After long talks with boys,
I could manage to involve her in the game. And you know, she played best of all. Our stubborn boys not only
continued playing with love, but also promised to invite the girl
to all their football matches. Let me bring another example. I have recently read that parents tend
to warn their daughters to be careful four times more that
they warn their sons. And usually they are more worried
when their daughters play in the yard and they get
more warnings about possible dangers. Then, when the children grow up, the girls hold the position that
they need more protection whereas the boys are more autonomous. It turns out that boys are born
to be leaders, or girls to be teachers, and we educate them like this. In case of teachers, some people
think that teacher is woman’s job. The other part thinks that men teachers
are few, because the salary is low. But according to ”New York Times”,
the three/fourth of teachers in US are also women,
though it’s a well paid job there. Many times I have heard that a woman
can not be a leader. But the researches of
”Harvard Business Review” that the customers are more satisfied
with women leaders and usually the latters are
in better terms with their employees. I think, you all will agree, that
a great number of man teachers or women leaders don’t indanger us
in any way. On the contrary, a better atmosphere
is created in schools and workplaces. Just remembered one more thing. Before almost every one thought that a woman can not drive a car
or men can’t style a woman’s hair. But today we have almost
the opposite image. Women prefer to have men
as their hairstylists and men are accused in aggresive traffic
three times more than women and they become reasons for accidents
for 25 percent more than women do. What do you think? Is it possible that one day I
would become one of the few underground female drivers in the world
and one day you would see me and smile. (Applause)

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