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Gender and Diversity Issues Related to Occupational Fields

Deconstructing professional history relates to the occupational performance of activities for which the degree program is preparing students and relates to transitional periods – between education and career, for example. Discuss the historical processes of these professions’ emergence and evolution, but also current factors and trends. Your teaching can analyze aspects on the individual, institutional, and societal levels using questions such as the followings:

  • What formal and informal rules govern entry into this career? What are their implications for gender and diversity?
  • What are the histories of careers and jobs related to your research area or the names of those occupations?
  • What are the roles of visible and invisible members of disadvantaged social groups?
  • Are there hierarchies of academic and occupational research areas tied to social power relations? Are there sub-fields considered to be “hard” and “soft”?
  • Which activities and skills are central to the profession? Who is associated with the required capabilities? Who is disassociated from them?
  • Who do people interact and communicate with professionally? How can those people’s diversity of lived realities be taken into account? Are there prejudices or stereotypes that might have an effect?
  • What inequalities can be observed on the job market for this field, both inside and outside of the academy, in terms of gender relations, migration background, disability, and other relationships of inequality? What implications can this have for organizational and HR policies that aim to counter these hierarchies? How can this profession be reconciled with various personal ways of life?
  • Are there gender- and diversity-related wage gaps?
  • Are there gender- and diversity-related differences in opportunities for professional development?



Although the profession of schoolteacher was once exclusively practiced by men, there is now a relatively high percentage of women schoolteachers. This percentage depends on the type of school and drops considerably for higher administrative roles, such as school principal. Deconstructing these gender relations and their significance for school and teaching is highly relevant to teacher training. This might take the form of a critical discussion about stereotypes regarding male and female elementary school teachers and their function as role models for schoolchildren. Since 2010, the University of Hildesheim Foundation has given its students the opportunity to deconstruct these occupation-related issues (Hastedt/Lange 2012).

When deconstructing the history of the legal profession, you can address the occupational ban on Jewish lawyers under Nazi rule.

You can find more specific suggestions for several disciplines, such as networks and scholars’ biographies, under Discipline-Specific Entry Points.


Hastedt, Sabine, und Silvia Lange, Hrsg. 2012. Männer und Grundschullehramt. Diskurse, Erkenntnisse, Perspektiven. Bielefeld: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.