Career women go online as role models for young girls

WOMEN all around the world from different careers and backgrounds are posting photos of themselves as young girls and reflecting on their dreams, aspirations and doubts at that age.

Their efforts are part of the #ThisLittleGirlIsMe initiative by international charity Inspiring Girls. 

Founder and Chair of Inspiring Girls International, Miriam González Durántez, recognised how important female role models are in breaking down gender stereotypes.

She founded the organisation to make it easy for young girls to access female role models, allowing them to see what they can be.

“Inspiring Girls is dedicated to raising the aspirations of young girls around the world by connecting them with female role models from diverse backgrounds by any means possible,” said Ms González Durántez.

Miriam González Durántez is empowering young girls through female role models. Image: supplied

She founded Inspiring Girls in 2016, connecting girls with female role models through school workshops, presentations and online resources, with the charity now operating in 26 countries and reaching over 24,000 girls worldwide.

Its latest initiative, the #ThisLittleGirlIsMe campaign, is a global movement in the run up to International Day of the Girl encouraging girls to follow female role models on social media.

“Our #ThisLittleGirlIsMe campaign will make a huge range of female role models accessible to girls on social media,” said Ms González Durántez.

“We hope to highlight the achievements of women from every walk of life and to encourage girls to follow at least one of those inspiring women.”

Research from the educational charity Female Lead shows 93 per cent of girls feel they have higher personal and career aspirations after following inspirational women figures on social media.

Wildlife scientist Dr Vanessa Pirotta joined the #ThisLittleGirlIsMe campaign to inspire young minds.

She hopes her participation in the campaign will empower young girls and expose them to what a career in STEM can look like. 

 “I don’t recall any science female role models in my life when I was young,” said Dr Pirotta.

“Together, we can bring awareness to women in a diverse range of roles [which] hopefully will inspire a whole generation of young girls.”

Young girls’ early thinking about the idea of women’s work and men’s work is influenced by the gender roles they see in books, media and toys, as well as within their family and cultural practices.

By the time girls reach years 8 to 10, their subject choices and career paths are impacted by these ingrained gender stereotypes.

In fact, 41 per cent of girls aged 11 to 21 believe there are certain subjects or careers expected of them simply because they are girls.

Country Chair of Inspiring Girls Australia, Jessie Li, said showcasing different career types will help broaden the exposure of young girls to a wide range of roles they may not have considered before.

Jessie Li speaking to school girls in Hong Kong as an Inspiring Girls role model. Image: supplied

“We want to help the young girls find their passion by connecting them to these female roles models on social media,” she said.

Scientists, film directors, lawyers, athletes, entrepreneurs and authors are just a few of the varied careers highlighted in the campaign. 

“By tapping into these inspiring women, they can see what could be, empowering them to reach for the stars and realise their potential,” said Ms Li.

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Jessica Roberts

Jessica Roberts is a Masters of Journalism and International Relations student at Monash University. She is interested in advocating for women’s empowerment, amplifying the voices of marginalised communities and creating a society more inclusive and welcoming of minority groups. Jessica is passionate about writing stories that help make a difference.

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