In September this year, I delivered a talk at the Men in Early Years Seminar. This was part of Scotland’s Gender Action Plan, which includes supporting more men to work in childcare as part of an aim to challenge gender stereotypes and promote gender diversity in Scottish early learning and childcare and the wider society.
I spoke about my experience as a man working in early years, gender inequality and why it matters to me, the importance of networks and my experience leading the Bristol Men in Early Years Network.
For me, the point of the argument for more men in early years is not necessarily that we bring with us this innate ‘manliness’ that the profession has been missing. Instead, the point is about representation and that men working with young children can challenge traditional stereotypes about how men should be.
So when we call for more men in early years, I think what we are really calling for is more men of all kinds in early years – although I’m aware that doesn’t sound quite as catchy (better suggestions welcome!).
A short video of the event has since been released, which you can view on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a97SSVQJH0M&t=1s