- Download Career and Technical Education chapter of NCWGE's Title IX at 40 report
Career and technical education (CTE) prepares youth and adults for a wide range of careers as well as further education in areas such as information technology, construction, manufacturing, auto engineering, and other skilled trades. Expanding access to technical occupations can help to shrink the gender wage gap. Through CTE, women can gain the knowledge and skills required to enter higher-paying, “nontraditional” occupations for women, defined as those in which less than 25% of the workforce is of their gender.
Since the passage of Title IX, there has been a gradual increase in the number of females in technical and other occupational programs leading to nontraditional careers. Although women and girls have made some advances in CTE since Title IX passed, barriers to entry— including gender stereotypes, implicit bias, unequal treatment, and sexual harassment— remain high. Males may also be discouraged from taking nontraditional courses, including courses in relatively high-growth, high-wage professions in health care and other fields.
Federal law needs to offer states both incentives and resources for ensuring gender equity. It should also mandate sanctions for discrimination. Better tracking and reporting of data, incentives for increasing girls’ and women’s participation in high-wage occupations, and resources for developing effective recruitment and retention strategies are needed to ensure equal access to CTE for all students.