From education to employment

Empowering Future Leaders: Taking Our Sons and Daughters to Work

Since its inception in the early 90s, Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day (April 25) has become a cherished tradition in the United States. With over 30 years of history, this annual event sees nearly 40 million Americans participating across 3.5 million workplaces. But what can we in the UK learn from this transatlantic tradition to enrich our children’s understanding of the world of work?

In the UK, we can draw inspiration from this longstanding American tradition to provide our children with a firsthand glimpse into the world of work. While the standard curriculum plays a crucial role in education, there’s undeniable value in exposing young minds to the realities of offices, factories, shops, and hospitals.

Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day offers a unique opportunity for children to witness the dedication and passion their parents bring to their daily responsibilities. It’s a chance for them to move beyond theoretical understanding and witness real-world applications, igniting their curiosity and potentially shaping their future career paths.

While some schools in the UK organise sporadic “World of Work” days, nothing quite compares to the impact of firsthand experience. Experiencing the hustle and bustle of a workplace firsthand is far more inspiring than listening to someone describe it in an assembly hall. Such experiences can spark the imaginations of future doctors, scientists, builders, and artists, laying the groundwork for their future aspirations.

A 2017 study showed that just over half of schools in the UK offered meaningful work experience placements to students by the end of Year 11, yet 93% of teachers agreed that work experience increased the likelihood of a child doing better in exams. By offering more opportunities for work experience, we can bridge the gap between academic learning and practical skills, equipping our youth with the tools they need to succeed in the professional world.

As an American residing in the UK, I understand that not all US traditions are applicable here. Nevertheless, Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day is one tradition that could undoubtedly benefit our society. By instilling a culture of career exploration from an early age, we can empower our sons and daughters to make informed decisions about their future paths, aligning their choices with their passions and aspirations.

Cecilia Harvey is an award-winning entrepreneur and founder of global network Tech Women Today.

Related Articles