Woman's World


01The Primary School20101227

"I felt awkward going to school - it was only women who did - it just wasn't a man thing.

It didn't seem right." Colin, a parent at Sanquhar Primary School in Dumfries and Galloway, reflects on how he used to feel about going into school.

The series on men with jobs in female workplaces begins with the story of Alex Douglas, the only man in the staff room.

Alex talks about his battle to get men like Colin to engage with the school.

Five years ago - after only one man turned up for a parents' evening - he set up a Dads' club.

Alex explains how he persuaded Sanquhar Dads to join the club (he drew on his background as a professional photographer) and then managed to keep it going.

"In most primary schools, because it's a female environment, the female view takes precedence", he argues.

"When my children were at primary school, I was available to help out during the day, and not once was I asked.

But my wife was."

Chris Ledgard meets Sanquhar staff, parents and children who talk about how Mr Douglas' good idea changed a school culture.

Alex Douglas, a teacher, discusses the role of men in primary schools.

02The Nail Bar20101228

The series on men with jobs in female workplaces continues with the story of Gareth Apajee, a nail bar worker from Swansea.

Gareth tells Chris Ledgard why he decided to train in the beauty industry and discusses the reaction of his family, colleagues and customers.

Chris visits Gower College in Swansea and hears that men are starting to take up places on beauty therapy courses, but are still in a very small minority.

Gareth Apajee, a nail bar worker, talks about doing his job as a man.

03The Midwife20101229

The series on men with jobs in mainly female workplaces continues with the story of Andy Yelland, a male midwife.

Andy and his wife Mandy - who is also a midwife - discuss attitudes towards men in their profession.

"It is an odd job for a man to do" says Andy, "there's no doubt about it".

His route into the job was unusual - he had previously been a geologist.

Chris Ledgard talks to Andy's colleagues at St Michael's Hospital in Bristol to find out what they think of his work, and hears about occasions when patients have asked to be looked after by a woman.

Chris Ledgard discusses men and midwifery with Andy Yelland, a male midwife in Bristol.

04The Wrvs20101230

Graham Clarke tells Chris Ledgard about running a WRVS lunch club.

The charity no longer uses its full title - the Women's Royal Voluntary Service - and has been taking on male volunteers for many years.

The chief executive Lynne Berry discusses the balance between respecting the WRVS's history as a women's organisation, and establishing its new image in the modern world of big charity.

05 LASTWomen's Studies20101231

Professor Jeff Hearn talks to Chris Ledgard about his relationship with the academic world of Women's Studies.

After a group of female staff at Bradford University set up the UK's second Women's Studies postgraduate course in the early 1980s, Jeff Hearn was asked to teach on it.

Professor Hearn - who describes himself as a profeminist - found himself, he says, "on an ambiguous margin of Women's Studies." Now a professor of Gender Studies in Sweden, he and his colleagues discuss his work as a man on the fringe of academic feminism.

Professor Jeff Hearn talks to Chris Ledgard about teaching on a women's studies course.