Wates has announced a partnership with charity the Fawcett Society which will help to address gender stereotypes impacting children and young people.
The Equal Play campaign will provide parents and caregivers with practical tips and resources to challenge gender stereotypes in their interactions with children.
The initiative will include a series of events aimed at sharing insights from experts and creating opportunities for parents to share their own experiences.
Around 400 people tuned into the campaign’s first virtual event, Boys Online: Parenting Against Internet Misogyny, which looked at how parents can support their children to navigate online spaces safely.
Eoghan O’Lionaird, Wates chief executive, said: “At Wates, we aim to be a fair place to work, enabling greater diversity of talent, skills and experience.
“We know that gender preconceptions can be hard to shift, and it’s essential that we do what we can to open young people’s minds to what they could be doing with their lives and their future, without undue or negative influence related to gender prejudices.
"This new partnership with the Fawcett Society is just one of the ways we are continuing to work to break down systemic barriers and create opportunities for everyone.”
Research from the Fawcett Society shows that gender expectations significantly limit children. Three quarters of parents said that boys and girls are treated differently, with six in 10 stating this has a negative impact on their child.
According to the organisation, such stereotypes can be harmful as children conform to these societal expectations and develop life goals in line with these expectations. This can result in limited career choices and contribute to the gender pay gap.
Jemima Olchawski, Fawcett Society chief executive, said: “We know that gender norms and stereotypes imposed on girls in early childhood can affect their outcomes, with a lower take-up of STEM subjects later in life.
“It’s on all of us to ensure girls’ potential is not limited by gendered assumptions, and it’s fantastic to see a company like Wates taking this step with us.”
To attend the Equal Play events and take part in the campaign, sign up online.