Lack of Female Role Models Having Implications For Young Women
Recent research carried out for GirlGuiding UK has revealed that there is a lack of female role models amongst girls and young women.
The research carried out by Childwise for GirlGuiding UK used 6 focus groups of girls and young women aged 7 to 21. A total of 39 girls and women in the age group were selected across the country as typical of girls in general and involved both members and non-members of the GirlGuiding movement.
The report highlighted that girls and young women are clearly influenced by the world around them. A narrow range of female role models had implications on aspirations later in life, certain reality TV shows were having an influence on girl’s behaviour such as their relationships and their own behaviour. Also worryingly the report suggested that girls and young women believe sportswomen are less success than sportsmen and even today some see certain careers as boy’s jobs.
I have to agree that finding relevant role models to look up to as a young person is crucial when forming ideas of future careers and plans. You can find them in a variety of places with some searching but the most obvious place is in the media.
The glamorisation over recent years of certain reality shows as well as celebrity does not really help in terms of developing role models. There are however a few good examples hidden in the TV listings. From a business perspective we can name two: The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den. We also have the Olympics in London this summer which hopefully will inspire a generation on several different levels.
We certainly do need female role-models in all walks of life and a lot more of them. How we bring these women to the attention of the next generation in a coordinated and ‘real’ fashion remains to be seen. Yes certain things may look glamorous on the surface but to be successful over the longer term requires talent, hard work, dedication, focus and the ability to handle disappointment, dust yourself down and get up to fight another day. The belief that you can do anything you want to be is priceless and will serve you well in all areas of your life.
I hve to say that as an ex-girl guide (too many years ago!!) the organisation has to be congratulated on highlighting and speaking up on these kinds of issues facing girls and young women today.Back to Posts