Inspiring Future women
Posted: Wednesday June 13 2018
By: Abbie Coleman
The average teenage girl counts Disney princesses and Barbie as her early role models. She thinks being strong and getting sweaty aren’t very “girly”, so must be boys’ jobs.
Inspiring Future women
By Totally Runable
She is about to embark on a working life where in the U.K. there is a 19.2% gender pay gap, and only 22 of around 200 of the world’s countries are lead by women. It’s never too early to start a positive discussion about being a girl. And this is something both men and women can do. Your mother, daughter, sister, cousin, wife or girlfriend, are all women first.
Thankfully, the world is catching up with what some of us have always known. There has been major progress for gender equality in the last 2 generations, at least in the United Kingdom, United States and the developed world. The number of women in leadership positions globally is on the increase, the gender pay gap is being addressed and the UK’s female engineering First Degree graduates are on the up. Media coverage of womens’ sport, shockingly reported in 2015 as being only 7%, is also on the rise, with regularly televised games, like this weekend’s England Football Euro 2017 qualifier against Belgium being covered on the BBC.
We have come a long way, and are continuing to do so. It really is great that Barbie now has optional flat feet and comes in 14 face shapes, 8 skin tones, 18 eye colours and 23 hair colours. It makes a refreshing change for Disney princesses to fight their own battles, like Rapunzel in Tangled who escapes from her tower and fights her way back home, and to find that true love doesn’t just come with Prince Charming, as we learned in Frozen when (spoiler alert) the true love of sisters saves the day.
But the fact that Barbie’s feet have only been flat since 2015, that Rapunzel’s weapon of choice is a frying pan, and that the Frozen girls are still princesses in ball gowns, mean we might still have a long way to go. There are more men named John leading FTSE 100 companies than there are women, and women are outnumbered 5:1 in the UK’s leading companies by Davids, Ians, Marks and Andrews. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian is flashing on instagram and calling it empowerment. I’m not convinced.
I’m not saying that ball gowns aren’t okay, or that frying pans aren’t a handy addition to the kitchen. I’m also not saying that all women should want to lead companies. What I am saying is that it is about time it was all optional; that by the time our children reach our age it will be okay for them as women to want to do any or all of these things, and not feel like they need to use their bodies for attention. It will be so okay that them being women won’t even be relevant.
# Inspiring Future women