Trainee car mechanic Gemima from Ipswich says gender shouldn’t stop anyone pursuing their dream career
A female car mechanic in Ipswich is leading the drive against gender stereotyping in the workplace by challenging the belief that some jobs are reserved for men or women.
Trainee Gemima Christodoulou-Peace is concerned that young people are put off certain career paths because of the stereotypes associated with some professions.
The 18-year-old hopes her campaign with Fixers, the charity which gives young people a voice, will inspire others to pursue what they enjoy and not be influenced by society’s expectations of them.
Gemima, who is studying Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair at One sixth form, said: “I’m the only woman on my course, and that was quite daunting initially. I’ve had comments like ‘how will you lift things?’ but generally everyone’s been quite supportive.
“As a kid I would always take things apart and put them together, so working on cars is something that really appeals to me. There is nothing stopping anybody from doing what they love. Gender shouldn’t be an issue.”
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With Fixers Gemima has produced a film which encourages people to ignore employment stereotypes and do what’s right for them.
She added: “Men are generally seen as being strong and suited to more hands on professions, whereas women are supposed to be gentle and use their brains.
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“These stereotypes can be dangerous and limit a person’s potential from an early age.”
The teenager will be showing the film in schools and colleges to educate students about employment and further study opportunities.
“It’s important people don’t feel as though they can’t do something,” Gemima said. “I’m still a girly girl and enjoy the same things I always have. I just so happen to love what I do. My choice of career doesn’t define who I am.
“It doesn’t matter what gender you are, if you have a passion for something, get out there and go for it.”
For more information or to make a donation go to: www.fixers.org.uk/supporting-fixers.php