Boys in Care – Strengthening boys to pursue care occupations (BiC)
So far, initiatives for gender untypical vocational choices have primarily encouraged girls to enter male dominated fields of work, while projects to support boys in untypical vocational pathways are rare. The under-representation of boys is in particular obvious in professional care education including health care, elder care, early childhood education, primary school teaching where the majority of EU countries having less than 15% of their care work undertaken by men and facing a cultural ascription of care work as an extension of women’s ‘natural’ function in the family. From this perspective, professional care represents an unexplored arena for gender desegregation of educational and vocational choices, for fostering caring masculinities and challenging rigid gender norms. BiC aims at explicitly naming boys as driving force and target group in further desegregation of educational and vocational choices with a focus on care professions by developing, implementing and disseminating educational and counselling tools and mechanisms for teachers and vocational counsellors to be able to support boys in their untypical vocational choices.