Designing the Future: Gender

Young people in Sheffield work towards solving some of the major issues in the world.

Designing the Future: Gender

Tash Bright No Comment

These blog posts were collated by Sheffield Futures staff, based entirely on ideas from a range of young people in Sheffield at our ‘Designing the Future’ workshop, where we asked them to discuss various topics, identify the key issues and come up with potential solutions. We strive to give a voice to all young people, so all of their points of view have been included. 


Both women and men are disadvantaged in different ways based purely on their gender. In the workplace, women are sometimes expected to wear heels and make-up. Men earn more money on average, and statistically hold more of the powerful positions. On the other hand, women get more maternity leave than men with paternity leave, and some organisations use this as grounds to not employ women.

Women can be objectified and ridiculed under the guise of humour by ‘Lad culture’, and the same ‘Lads’ would laugh at men if they were being abused by a woman.

The media can objectify and patronise women, and can teach boys that they must be muscular, practical and emotionless. Most 6-year-old girls think that words like ‘Genius’ are male traits, but most 6-year-old boys don’t feel comfortable expressing their feelings.



Measures should be taken to ensure that people are treated by their merits at work: the distribution of power and the wage gap should always be tending towards being even. Maternity leave and paternity leave should be made equal, meaning employers have no prejudice between hiring either gender.

One of the key ways to normalise these biases is with early education – training teachers to interact young children exactly the same as each other, without taking their gender into account. Sex education should be in mixed classes. Young people should be taught to treat each human as an individual, and not to make presumptions or hurtful jokes about people based or gender.

The media has a responsibility to portray men and women equally – reporters should stop obsessing over women’s shoes and commend their accomplishments instead. MP’s should give all gender issues proper representation.

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