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She Builds UK is the brain-child of Neil Perry, a commercial photographer specialising in architecture, design and the wider built environment...And Jessie’s dad.

Every Thursday, my seven year old daughter Jessie and I walk up to an after-school club together. We use the time to talk about her day, discuss her new favourite colour and ponder life’s big questions.

During one such walk in the Summer of 2022, I asked her what she’d like to do for a job when she grows up. She asked, “What jobs do girls do?”. I said she could do any job in the world she wanted.

“I can’t be a builder”,
she said, “Only men
are builders”.

As sad as I was to hear her say such a thing, she was equally oblivious to the magnitude of her words.

Kids of Jessie’s age are incredibly impressionable. They’re sponges. They soak up all sorts of information without anybody really knowing.

But what has she been told, what has she heard, seen, read or watched to have already been programmed to identify gender roles, stereotypes and inequality.

If she already has such a view of the world at the age of seven, what does that say about the way women are portrayed in roles that are largely seen as belonging to men?

And, crucially for me as her Dad, what does that say about her future attitude to career choices later on?

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