‘Girls less confident as they grow older’ – new research

Date: 26th July 2016
Category: Right to life, survival and development

New research from Girlguiding UK shows that girls become less confident as they grow older and become more aware of the barriers they could face at work. The research is based on a UK - including Scotland - survey poll of girls and young women.

A poll of 1,627 girls and young women showed they felt less powerful as they progressed through secondary school.

Only a third of the 17- to 21-year-olds questioned felt they would do as well as their male peers, against 90% of the nine- to 10-year-olds.

"It is our responsibility to change this," said Girlguiding Chief Executive Julie Bentley.

The young women interviewed were a representative sample and not necessarily connected with Girlguiding, says the charity.

The results show:

  • 90% of nine- and 10-year-old girls felt they would have the same chance as boys at succeeding in their chosen jobs
  • this dropped to 54% among 11- to 16-year-olds
  • and to 35% among 17 to 21-year-olds.
  • Only a quarter of the older group said they felt "powerful" compared with a third of 11- to 16-year-old girls.

Girlguiding says the data charts how girls' attitudes to themselves change as they become more aware of the barriers facing women in the workplace.

The full survey, carried out online by Childwise, will be published in September.