Interview with Thomas Pappas

Organisation responsible for the interview:

Country: Greece

Occupation: Professional in Career guidance in VET & responsible for internships.

Small Bio/CV: He is in charge of the career office at IEK DELTA PATRAS 360. He is a mathematician by profession and has the responsibility to help students in their practical training and to guide them towards their professional careers.

Date of the interview: 05.05.2023

Short summary of the interview

Mr. Pappas, in our interview, discussed various aspects related to young people’s career choices and the influence of social norms, cultural expectations, and personal biases. He noted that while most students have a general idea of their career path, a significant percentage remains undecided and requires career counseling.

According to Mr. Pappas, young people’s preferences are influenced by opportunities in the labor market. In recent years, there has been a growing trend among young people to work in the tourism industry due to favorable working conditions, including high wages.

When it comes to factors influencing career choices, Mr. Pappas highlighted friends and family as major influences. Financial considerations were deemed the most important factor, along with opportunities for advancement. Parents also play a significant role as role models for their children.

Addressing social norms and cultural expectations, Mr. Pappas acknowledged that stereotypes still impact young people’s career choices. Although there has been progress in eliminating stereotypes, they act as barriers to certain career opportunities. Social and cultural norms have a significant influence on career choices, and personal biases are prevalent. Overcoming these biases requires personality maturation and critical thinking through education.

Regarding gender discrimination in the labor market, Mr. Pappas noted that technological advancements have reduced gender disparities, but complete elimination has not been achieved. Certain jobs requiring physical strength are still more readily offered to men. Additionally, young people hold misconceptions and stereotypes about certain careers, such as associating engineering with men and nursing with women.

Mr. Pappas also highlighted that certain career fields, such as technology and engineering, are susceptible to gender and racial stereotypes. These stereotypes can lead to discrimination in recruitment and promotion, making it challenging for individuals who do not conform to these stereotypes to enter these fields.

Overall, Mr. Pappas emphasized the need for addressing stereotypes, biases, and cultural expectations in order to create a more inclusive and equal career landscape for young people.