Where the Guys Aren't: Addressing the Lack of Gender Diversity in the Early Education Profession

Time & Date: 6 to 8 p.m. - Oct. 27, 2010

Location: Birth to Three Family Center, 15 Market St., Suite 4, Ipswich, MA 01938-2200

Workshop Description: Men are rare in early education and care settings. Women are the majority in the early childhood teaching workforce. Recent Massachusetts workforce development policy recommendations for the early childhood field suggest that program staff reflect the diverse composition of communities served, yet men comprise less than 6% of that workforce. As Massachusetts creates a shared vision of quality education for young children, we must be clear about what constitutes that quality. A representative, diverse workforce that promotes professional opportunities regardless of gender can help children develop "an expectation that both women and men are expected to fulfill a full range of adult roles and responsibilities. Recruiting more male teachers into the Massachusetts early childhood workforce provides children with adults of both genders to whom they can relate and respond. Gender diversity, the presence of both females and males in the workplace, must be included in the state's concept of diversity, as well as in its definition of high quality. "Men who change diapers change the world!" Female and male participants in this workshop will examine the causes of the current workforce gender imbalance and consider avenues to promote quality through improving gender diversity in the early education and care professions.

Presenter: Kitt Cox, Program Coordinator of the Birth to Three Family Center