Excerpt:

A report published in 2015 by the Muslim Council of Britain concluded that only 29 per cent of Muslim women aged between 16 and 24 are in employment, compared with 50 per cent of the same age group in the general population.

The barriers are many: cultural expectations, parental ambitions for "doctors and lawyers" leading to other options being disparaged (the reality for many of the girls my school serves) to geographic limitations when applying for jobs or promotions.

Many Muslim girls also are not accustomed to seeing their mum, sister or aunt in the workplace; this leads to it being regarded as "other", an unfamiliar world where the norms and values are inaccessible and alien. However, school leaders can intervene to cultivate familiarity, comfort and a sense of belonging.


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