London's City Hall launches award to tackle gender stereotypes

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Nurseries, schools and colleges will be able to gain a new award designed to tackle gender stereotypes.


Deputy Mayor Joanne McCartney at an event at the Imagination Lab in The Workshop, Lambeth

Plans for the Gender Action award, which aims to challenge stereotypes by putting gender equality at the heart of all aspects of life, were announced by London’s deputy mayor for education and childcare Joanne McCartney at an Equal Play event at City Hall.

The award has been developed by the Institute of Physics, King’s College London, UCL Institute of Education and the University Council of Modern Languages.

Schools, colleges and nurseries will be able to work through four levels of the award – supporter, innovator, champion and beacon – by making changes to enhance gender equality and ensure no child is held back by their gender.

The Gender Action award programme, which will open in January 2019, will provide guidance on challenging stereotypes, share best practice to improve gender balance within subject and career choices, and lead by example when engaging with parents, governors and the local community.

Joanne McCartney, deputy mayor for education and childcare, said, ‘London is a city of opportunity and young Londoners are the scientists, engineers and designers of the future. Too few girls choose to pursue careers in the UK’s science and engineering sectors and I want to see more girls, and pupils from all backgrounds considering a career in this area – knowing nothing is off limits to them. 

‘This is why I’m delighted to welcome the advertising industry, retailers, educators and campaigners to City Hall to work together to tackle gender stereotypes. The new Gender Action award for London schools will support teachers to ensure that no young person in the capital is held back by gender stereotypes and show that London in leading the way in gender equality.’


City Hall has also developed a new resource for families wanting to address gender stereotypes in toys and play.

The new Equal Play Explorer Trail at the V&A Museum of Childhood is an interactive resource for families to explore gender stereotypes through the museum’s toy collections and reflect on how stereotyping can affect young people’s aspirations.

The Equal Play Explorer Trail will be available at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green from today and throughout 2019.

  • Settings can register for the Gender Action award here
  • More information about the Equal Play Explorer Trail can be found here
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