Gender diversity at work: a conversation lesson

I have only ever worked as an English teacher, and maybe because of that, my initial thoughts about gender diversity at work are biased. Along the years, most of my co-workers and bosses have been women (7 of the coordinators/managers I have worked with directly were women and only two were men).

However, when talking to students in other professions, I realised that their reality is the complete opposite of that. So, when I found an article that touched on this issue, I thought it would generate some interesting discussion with my students.

This lesson is aimed at adult students who are B1+. I could be wrong, but I’m not sure adolescents, regardless of their level, would have much to say about it.


The steps below are based on a PowerPoint presentation you can download here from dropbox and here from Google Drive.

Slide 1

Ask students to tell their partners the first idea that comes to their mind when they look at the picture. Ask students to report back and guide them to the idea of gender diversity if nobody comes up with it.

Slide 2

Get students to discuss the questions in pairs. After a few minutes, elicit answers from the whole group.

Slide 3

Show gist question and play video for the first time. Let students compares answers and then check with the whole group.

Slide 4

Show students the specific questions and play the video for the second time. Let students compare answers again before checking.

After that, ask students if they agree with James’ opinions.


Slide 5

Tell students they are going to read a text about the same topic. Show gist question and set a short time limit for students to read it.

The original text can be found here and my adapted version is below.


Get students to compare answers and the check with the whole group.

Slide 6

Give students more time to read the text fully and answer these questions. Again, get students to compare answers before checking with the whole group.

Slide 7

In new pairs, students discuss these follow-up questions.

Slide 8

Go over the pronunciation of the words in bold, focusing on features of connected speech, then get students to match the vocabulary items to their meaning or to discuss the meaning of the words according to the context. Either way, ask CCQs to double check if students know what expressions mean.

Slide 9

In pairs, students answer conversation questions. I used generic words like ‘in your company’ and ‘in your city’ but you can change these according to your group of students.


Thanks for reading.

3 thoughts on “Gender diversity at work: a conversation lesson

  1. Pingback: Gender diversity at work: a conversation lesson — ricardo barros elt | So, You Think You Can Teach ESL?

  2. Dear Ricardo, thank you for this amazing lesson plan! I’d like to suggest you the short play The Applicant by Harold Pinter, I think it is related to this topic. Please let me know if you enjoyed it, we can share ideas about the play.




    • Dear Juliana, I’m glad you enjoyed the lesson. I’ve just Googled the play and it does look very interesting. I’ll try to find some time to read it. Apparently there are videos of people performing it on youtube as well. 🙂


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