You may have heard of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, but you may be wondering, “What kinds of careers involve this major,” or “Which types of companies look for this degree?” There are many misconceptions surrounding the field of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) and its potential applications. Many people do not know exactly what studying gender and sexuality really entails. Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies acknowledge the history of the systematic oppression of marginalized groups and the contemporary realities they face.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies can have an immensely positive impact on a variety of workplaces. The field encourages employers and employees to confront the internalized biases they might hold against others, identify the sources of those beliefs, and navigate how to expand their viewpoints of others beyond those biases. Utilizing the theories of gender and sexuality studies education can help employers minimize the negative outcomes associated with workplace discrimination.
- Fostering Diversity in the Workplace
Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies acknowledge that any shared space is comprised of many different individuals with different strengths from different backgrounds who are not always going to agree on every issue. The discipline acknowledges that discriminatory behavior is deeply engrained and not always intentional, an idea that has been incorporated into many modern workplace harassment prevention modules.
- Creating a Safer Work Environment
With awareness of the different struggles that gender, sexual, and racial minorities have faced in the workplace, employers can better implement policies to protect the rights of those groups in the workplace. Employers can provide a workplace that provides support to survivors of adverse experiences due to their gender identity, race, or sexual orientation. Additionally, gender and sexuality studies can help individuals seeking employment identify workplaces that most closely align with their values and needs.
- Pursuing Careers
Graduates of gender studies programs often pursue careers in fields that involve hands-on connection with others, including counseling, community service, teaching, social work, mental health counseling, and public policy making decisions. Due to its focus on interpersonal issues and structural inequality, jobs catered to Women, Gender, and Sexuality graduates often involve helping individuals facing setbacks due to socioeconomic issues access helpful resources to navigating these experiences. To learn more about how this major can serve a wide variety of industries, take a look at this link.
- Getting Hired
There is a variety of different employers that are currently in need of the expertise in interpersonal relations possessed by Women, Gender, and Sexuality graduates. Both private and public institutions frequently hire individuals specializing in the role of gender and sexuality in everyday society. The most common employers of WGS graduates are academic institutions, including colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, libraries, government institutions, and women’s centers. There are a variety of professional and academic paths that WGS students can take after receiving an undergraduate degree. Graduates can pursue research projects, teaching positions, volunteer work experiences, master’s degrees, and other opportunities.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies can provide valuable education to both employers and applicants seeking careers involving hands-on service to others. The field is also improving the workplaces students will be applying to upon graduation by educating employers and their employees in overcoming unexplored internalized biases. Look here to learn more about the WGS program at U of R.
Julia Keller is a University of Redlands Senior studying Public Policy and Gender Studies at the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies.