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WOMEN: GENDER DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY


Gender equality: Leveling the playing field for my children

By Julie Spillane, Director, Centre for Innovation in Dublin, Accenture
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"The kids see that we share career and family very equally."


I grew up in a large family. There were six kids and I was the youngest. Education was a big family value. I never saw any differing expectations between the boys and the girls.

My mother gave up work when she got married, as people did in those days. She set up her own business a little bit later. I was very lucky. I received a scholarship to study electronic engineering, which had me surrounded by boys. Even now, my father is almost 90, and we continue to have robust debates about education, and about me doing more education and my career.

As I reflect on gender equality, I think about the next generation. I have two kids. Both my husband and I work. The kids see that we share career and family very equally.

There’s a lot of talk now about girls not choosing STEM subjects. I think it’s most important for me to make sure that my daughter understands the opportunities that are available to her, but it’s up to her to make the decisions for herself. It’s important for my son to understand the options available to him; those options may be, in a future family unit, supporting a partner to work as well.

The best I can do for both of my kids is to level the playing field of opportunity and expectations equally.

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