In this day of equal opportunity, opportunities are available, but interest is far from equal.
each remains a bastion for women. This is especially true for pre-school education, where 100% of the teaching staff are women.
According to statistics from the 1970s, there is not a single male kindergarten teacher in Northern Ireland.
What the latest profile of the teaching profession workforce from the Northern Ireland Agency for Statistics and Research does not reveal is whether any men have applied for kindergarten jobs.
The workforce pattern is similar in primary schools: female teachers make up 85% of the workforce.
There has always been an unspoken opinion that it is better for a woman to teach the first and two primary classes than a man.
You see men as gardeners and caretakers in elementary schools, but never in classrooms.
While women dominate the workforce in all of our schools, the numbers point to something equally worrisome at higher levels in the chain.
The top of the pyramid is still disproportionately dominated by men.
This situation applies to many areas of public life, including health care, law enforcement, politics, and business.
Unfortunately, it seems that women who have set their sights on reaching the top have many more barriers to overcome than men, and this is not something that will change overnight.
In secondary schools, women make up about two-thirds of the workforce, although less than half of them have received a major role.
Education in Northern Ireland has hardly changed in 100 years. It didn’t move with time. To do this, he needs help and encouragement.
Teaching, as a career, lends itself to young women.
The obvious attraction for those who are newly married or looking to start a family is the time they can spend at home with their families during the long summer holidays and over Christmas and Easter.
But that doesn’t take away the worry that so few are entrusted with running our schools.
Education needs to address the prevailing notion that all teachers are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Gender imbalance is characteristic of the education sector as a whole.
The system was so entrenched in forced compromise during the formation of Northern Ireland that it was only just beginning to pull through.
Education has historically been dominated by churches, which may be one of the reasons why women always seem to be teachers and men organizers.
But change can happen, albeit slowly.
The numbers show that there are now more teachers in the 50-59 age group than ever before. The numbers drop significantly for those aged 30 to 39, but looking further down the list, the number of young teachers is on the rise.
They bring new ideas to the profession, and universities responsible for preparing the workforce of the future are actively working with schools to restore balance between men and women.
This is a positive sign, but getting more people into the profession depends on being able to provide healthy wages and a healthy workload when they get there. If you build it right, they will come.
Northern Ireland should not see education as the problem it seems to be. He must see that this is an opportunity.
Breaking the shackles of an archaic system can be a catalyst for the liberation of the mind. Northern Ireland needs to find the strength to break with the past.
The emergence of integrated schools is a relatively recent phenomenon, and there are many demands for the integration of students on religious grounds. But maybe this should be accompanied by a call for more women teachers in leadership positions.
We don’t have to choose how we integrate. It’s not integration at all.