13 February

She Can Be- Showing young women that they can smash the glass ceiling

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New research has revealed that seeing women working in City jobs is more likely to encourage young women to follow in their footsteps.

38 per cent of young women would be more likely to consider a career in the City after seeing people like them working there. 62 per cent of young women aged 16-24 also indicated they’d consider a career in the City or would consider it with further information.

And young women also identified their top wishes for their future career, with being passionate about what they do coming out top, with a good salary and a good work-home life balance coming second and third respectively.

The research was carried out by Girlguiding to mark the inaugural She Can Be…, an event led by The Lord Mayors’ Appeal.  Over 130 young women, aged 13-18 from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland travelled to the City of London on February 13th for a day working with businesses in the City. They shadowed chief executives, were able to experience networking and undertook simulated tasks showing the day-to-day life of women working in the City. Twenty-five organisations took part in the day across a range of sectors including sponsors, Capgemini and XL Catlin, as well as BNY Mellon, Cleary Gottlieb and Hamilton LLP, Innovate Finance, the Post Office and Virgin Money.

Other data from the research also shows that:

  • Young women are less motivated by salary than young men, with 65 per cent of women saying it’s a contributing factor for their future career compared to 75 per cent of men
  • More young women than young men say that being passionate about their job is important to them, with 73 per cent of women indicating it’s a factor compared to 52 per cent of men.
  • Young men and women value flexible working, including shared parental leave, almost equally, with 45 per cent of men valuing it as important compared to 46 per cent of women.

The research was launched at The Mansion House, the home of The Lord Mayor of The City of London, by Laura McClinton, a 16-year-old Girlguiding Advocate, in the presence of top City bosses and stakeholders.

Laura said: “I think events like She Can Be… are extremely important in empowering young women to consider careers in major industries. And it’s great for the companies too – they are able to find out how to encourage women to consider working with them.

“I think that the most exciting part of the day is the chance to actually visit the companies, giving girls a chance to tackle the stigma regarding these occupations being ‘more for men’.

“Girlguiding shows their members of all ages that they can pursue whichever career they wish, from the parts of its programme dedicated to STEM to encouraging girls and young women into positions of leadership.”

Dame Fiona Woolf, DBE representing The Lord Mayor, welcomed attendees to The Mansion House. Dame Fiona Woolf, who was only the second female Lord Mayor in history, said:

“We know that it is not always perceived to be equal for women and men in the City, or in society, however I know, and I can see, that change is happening – the City is doing more to address this priority.

We need to break the glass ceiling and I believe that this generation of young women soon to be joining the workforce will be able to do that. I am thrilled that The Lord Mayor’s Appeal is driving this agenda to create ‘A Better City for All’ and She Can Be… is such a positive event that will help make this change happen.”

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