The study focuses on the occupational expectations and aspirations that mothers, representing 5 different ethnic groups and 2 social classes, have for their children. An intergroup perspective was adopted by considering the occupational stereotypes that mothers have of the different ethnic groups, and the extent to which ethnic group membership influences hiring decisions. The results indicate that there exist very clear ethno-occupational stereotypes, and that these influence hiring decisions. However, despite wide variation in the occupational status in the stereotypes of different ethnic groups, mothers had universally high expectations for their children. The extent to which these represent optimism or false hope is addressed.