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Young women want more support to help become leaders, study reveals

This news post is 9 months old

Girlguiding Scotland's Girls in Scotland 2020 report has been published to mark International Women's Day

Young women want to see more support to help them into leadership roles, new research has been revealed.

Girlguiding Scotland is marking International Women’s Day by making girls’ views heard on women in leadership.

The charity’s Girls in Scotland 2020 report reveals what changes girls want to see so that young women feel confident to take up leadership positions. These findings reflect this year’s theme for International Women’s’ Day: ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’.

The majority of girls and young women (64%) said stopping judging women leaders by what they wear and how they look would encourage more girls and young women to take up leadership roles, and 54% more action is needed to challenge the abuse and harassment of women in leadership positions.

Just over a quarter of girls said they didn’t learn the skills at school needed to speak out on the issues they are about, and 60% said helping girls and young women to build on the skills and confidence they need to be a leader would encourage more to take on these types of roles.

While girls and young women have a keen interest in politics, 59% of 11-21 years old said there should be more opportunities available to involve young people in decisions that affect them.

Role models are important for girls and young women too. Just over half responded that seeing other women in leadership positions that that look like them and who they can relate to would help them feel like they can also take the lead.

Commenting on the results, Girlguiding Scotland Speak Out champion, Catriona Manders, 15, said: “Our Girls in Scotland 2020 research shows more action is needed to remove the barriers that are holding girls and young women back from taking on leadership roles or getting involved in politics.

"We have to stop infantilising female leaders and reducing them to their appearance as it puts girls off taking the lead and takes away from the achievements of inspirational women. We’re getting there, but more work still needs to be done in educational institutions to encourage girls to build up the confidence to speak up on issues they are passionate about and want to see change in.”

Other activities by the charity to mark International Women’s Day include encouraging people to take part in the #ChooseToChallenge call on social media, and sharing what action girls in guiding are taking to end gender inequality.

With 45,000 young members across the country, Girlguiding Scotland is committed to supporting girls to speak out on the issues affecting their lives. To find out more about Girlguiding Scotland and to view the full research visit



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