The #kvennastarf campaign is a response to the common myth that it is natural to classify professions in to women´s work and men´s work.
The Campaign poses the question: which jobs are women´s work?
The answer is that sex or gender should not be a determining factor in choosing a course of study or profession. The traditional gendered division of labour is long outdated and irrelevant in a modern society.
All jobs are women´s work. Women should be able to choose which ever profession they want, and the same goes for men.
It can be difficult to enter the labour market as a minority and can deter people from pursuing their career of interest.
#kvennastarf seeks to highlight the fact that there are women who work in traditionally masculine professions. Their numbers vary and, in some fields, there are only a few but the focus will be on the fact that they are there.
#kvennastarf gives these women a platform to share their experiences and introduces the younger generation to female role models to prove that everyone can pursue their desired profession.
The skilled trades are still the most male dominated fields in the labour market. There is also a great lack of vocationally educated people, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if over half of the nation, women, dismisses these professions as a career option due to outdated stereotypes.
Vocational schools in Iceland aim to increase the number of people educated in the skilled trades. Their goal is to get 20% of elementary school students to choose vocational education in 2023 and 30% in 2030.
With #kvennastarf these schools wish to highlight and address this gender disparity.
It is plain to see that if more girls see an opportunity in vocational education, increasing the number of students in the skilled trades will be easier and in turn produce more educated people for the labour market.
„These stereotypes that women can’t do something that they might want to do need to change. Just because in the past it used to be a man´s job.“
Soffía Anna Sveinsdóttir, master plumber
The division of professions by gender perpetuates the gender pay gap which is still around 10%. This means that compared to men, women work without pay for 36 days a year.
„I believe that women are equally capable to men at anything.“
– Ásrún Mjöll, student of carpentry and marine engineering
Today there are 750 men in total working as pilots or pilots in command with the major airlines in Iceland while only 57 women are employed in the same profession.
“The reason I chose to pursue plumbing was of course the money. I was a single mother with two children. I needed to earn a living like a man.”
– Svanbjörg Vilbergsdóttir, master plumber
Studies of workplace culture show that people are more comfortable where there is gender diversity. These workplaces allow people more room to be themselves.
„When I was a kid I knew all along that I wanted to be a chef. But at the same time, I didn´t realise that I wanted to be a chef because, you know, I had never seen any female chefs.“
– Hrefna Rósa Sætran, master chef.
„It’s cool to be able to say; I’m a girl but I’m also a marine engineer.“
– Guðbjörg Rún Vestmann, student of marine engineering
„I discovered just how much I was learning from this and how empowering it is.“
– Oddný María Gunnarsdóttir, master plumber
The total number of men in Iceland who have completed a journeyman’s examination in a skilled trade in Iceland is 32.641.
The total number of women is 5.151.
Women doing women´s Work
Join #kvennastarf by posting a picture from your job to Instagram.
#kvennastarf encourages people to not let societal gender roles hold them back. Everyone should be able to become whatever they want.
Everyone should be able to become whatever they want.