Frances Colgan, 14
She has a younger sister and two younger brothers. Her mother works as a secretary and her father is a civil servant.
"I've wanted to be a doctor since I was about 11. I like helping people and I like the sciences, especially biology. Before that I wanted to be a rugby player, a Japanese interpreter and a train driver. I've always wanted to be something, never a layabout or a housewife. I wouldn't like to be dependent on a husband; I want my own opinions, my own beliefs and I'd need my own job. But I think if a woman wants to stay at home, then that's fine, too. She should have the choice.
For me, getting a good career is probably more important than having a family. If I don't find the right person to marry, then I'm not bothered. But if I do have children, I'll take time off work to have them, then I'll give them to my husband to look after. I wouldn't employ a nanny.
My role models are women who are known for their minds, not their looks. My hero is Emily Pankhurst, the leader of the suffragettes. I don't admire women like Princess Diana - she's more bothered about being a superstar - though I admire the Queen for putting up with her.
I want to go to medical school in Cambridge, London or Sheffield, and then I'd like to work in a casualty unit because I'd be directly involved in saving people's lives. I'd quite like to join the air ambulance service or the army doctors. I hope that being a woman won't make any difference though I know there are people who might not want a woman doctor. I suppose you've just got to put up with that. It'll probably be happening less by the time I qualify because people are getting better opinions.
I hope to be a practising doctor by the time I'm 26 and I know that if I work hard, I can do it. After the next 10 years of solid work, the future looks good to me."
Rebecca Stobbs, 16
Taking 11 GCSEs. She lives with her younger brother, her mother, who is a manager of a pharmaceuticals company, and her step-father, a self- employed business man.
"I've always wanted to be a vet. I don't believe in marriage; you shouldn't need a piece of paper to stay together. And I don't think I want babies - screaming, crying, puking - they'd drive me crazy. I prefer baby animals! If I was stuck at home looking after children, I'd go mad. My mum's very much a career woman: she's worked since I was six. We've had a couple of nannies. Mum made her way up her company, starting as a sales rep, and I really admire her. I think it's important for women to have a choice.
Two years ago, I started helping at our local vet's. I work there every other Saturday. I've grown up around animals, I spend a lot of time outdoors and I love the work. It used to be a male profession, but that's turning round now. In the past, you needed strength but new techniques are being developed all the time - like special devices for holding cattle - so it's …