23 February City leaders gather to discuss mental health and long-term physical conditions in the workplace
We Can Be marks International Women’s Day
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘embracing equality’ – a key value of our initiative We Can Be which helps young girls develop skills needed for their future. The 8 March also marks the 10th birthday of The Girls' Network, a charity founded by two secondary school teachers, who recognized that their students lacked professional role models and links girls from some of the least advantaged backgrounds to positive role models, one-to-one mentoring, and development opportunities. This year We Can Be will work with The Girls' Network once again to offer mentoring opportunities for young women within the City.
According to The Prince’s Trust NatWest Youth Index 2022, young women’s current happiness as well as their confidence in the future has dropped, with worries about their mental health and their outlook on employment contributing to this fall; and a quarter of young women feeling like they are going to fail in life, compared to 19 per cent of young men. Research carried out by The Girl’s Network has shown that mentoring programmes like theirs has a huge impact on girl’s self-belief, confidence and hopes for the future - with 91% of women within The Girls' Network feeling more confident and 93% feeling more positive about their futures. Furthermore Linkedln’s Workplace Learning Report 2022 found that you are five times more likely to be promoted if you have been mentored.
Empowering young girls to make their own choices around careers in the City is more effective with the addition of female role models from within those corporations to light the way
Many young women feel that building confidence is key to helping them unlock their potential. At our We Can Be workshops, empowering young girls to make their own choices around careers in the City is more effective with the addition of female role models from within those corporations to light the way. By identifying ‘real models’ to take them through real work scenarios and offer lived experience, it helps these young women to believe they have a place in the City, if they want it. As part of our We Can Be mentoring programme with The Girl’s Network, young women will have the opportunity to interact on a monthly basis with a mentor, as well as the opportunity to take part in interactive events and workshops throughout 2023. At the end of last year, we found that 84% of the young girls that attended our events were confident they could have the career they wanted. The Girls' Network have found 96% of women said their mentor improved their confidence.
7 in 10 younger women affected by gender stereotypes say their career choices were restricted
Looking at the hurdles these young women face, gender inequality is still high on the list with 77% of 17–21-year-olds thinking women have to work much harder than men to succeed (Girl Guides 2021) and 7 in 10 younger women affected by gender stereotypes say their career choices were restricted (Smashing Gender Stereotypes - Fawcett Society, 2021). This makes it less surprising that in the most recent FTSE350 just 1-in-25 of the CEOs of publicly listed companies in Britain are women (although 40% of UK FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women). In 2022, the United Kingdom placed 22nd on the World Economic Forum Global Data’s Global Gender Gap Index. The low percentages of women in higher positions contribute to the GPG in the UK, which registered a score of 0.78 in 2022 out of 1.
By providing them with access to City businesses and showcasing a variety of women in senior roles and helping them to learn key business skills early, we hope to help young women have the courage to bridge this gap. By encouraging a two way conversation, we also help our corporate partners to understand the barriers they need to remove to engage young women. As well as giving them a greater understanding of the importance of gender equality in the workplace; plus promoting the work that they are doing to create inclusive working environments so other companies can follow suit. In 2022, we found that 78% of young women would consider a role in the City following a We Can Be event, and 86% of businesses agreed that they understood more fully how young women felt about entering the workspace.
In 2022, we found that 78% of young women would consider a role in the City following a We Can Be event
Whether you’re a UK-based school looking for mentoring schemes to help their young female students to make empowered career decisions or a business looking for new ways to embrace equality and help more young women into the City and beyond, we’d love to hear from you.
Find out more about We Can Be here