What is the Girls' Day?
The idea for a Girls' Day, or a daughters’ day, originated in the USA. Every year, since 1993, students have visited their parents, relations or acquaintances at their work places on the "Take our daughters to work" day, to get an impression of what their jobs are like.
Over the past few years, this idea of job shadowing has increasingly caught on in Europe. In Austria, some of the federal laender have organised Girls' and/or Daughters’ Days since 2001. The idea is to promote a trend reversal in the career choice of girls and to alter their perspective on the world of work.
The format of Girls' Day is that of an integrative action day with the focus on intensely hands-on and experience-oriented in addition to emotional access, which is designed to encourage girls to conquer new occupational areas.
What is the idea behind Girls' Day?
The period prior to attaining statutory school qualifications is the first important interface as regards further training and career choice. Many girls continue to opt for "typically female" careers. As a result, fifty per cent of working girls and young women are to be found in not more than three service sectors: commerce, the health and social sector and the hotel and catering sector.
By comparison, the percentage of girls taking up jobs in trades and crafts or engineering is still extremely limited. In Austria and in Germany, girls are scarcely represented in trades and engineering, failing to use their full career potential, because of diverse social and structural factors. Enterprises, on the other hand, stand in growing need of qualified entrants, especially in the fields of engineering and in related occupations.
Frequently, what girls lack is information and support, when it comes to making their choice from across the entire career spectrum, and to selecting the job that would correspond to their interests and talents, and which they would enjoy doing.
The objectives of Girls' Day are ...
- to change the lopsided career planning of girls and to arouse their interest in careers in engineering and future-oriented jobs;
- to draw the attention of enterprises to the potential of girls;
- to sensitise parents and the general public to the fact that the demand for girls in traditionally male-dominated jobs is constantly rising.
Girls' Day is intended to offer girls the opportunity to become aware of the full spectrum of options at their disposal and as a consequence to widen the range of their career choices to include areas beyond traditional role models.
It is important to note that the information girls get about new career options is not merely theoretical - acquired in talks with experts: On Girls' Day they also get the opportunity to become actively involved in the tasks of a typical working day, they are free to experiment, thus strengthening their self-confidence and trust in their own skills.