Girl Guides study says workplace gender inequality impacts girls’ professional aspirations

Teenage girls are extremely aware of the inequalities many women encounter in the workforce and it’s impacting their aspirations before they begin their careers.

A new Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) report, Women in the Workforce – Impact on Girls, details how issues like the gender wage gap, the underrepresentation of women in corporate leadership roles and everyday sexism influence how girls view their own potential and the professional opportunities available to them.

“It’s clear that teenage girls in Canada are very aware of the gender inequalities they’ll likely face in their future professional life,” says Jill Zelmanovits, GGC CEO. “What they’re also telling us is that it’s negatively impacting their personal aspirations for what opportunities they can pursue. Some girls are dialing back their ambitions sensing that they won’t have equal opportunities or receive equal compensation or recognition for their success.”

According to the report, one in four girls ages 15-17 aren’t motivated to pursue their dream career because they’re concerned they’ll be compensated less than male counterparts. The same number don’t know any female role models with their dream job. Other findings: almost one in five girls agree their teachers treat them differently in class because they’re a girl and one in eight say an adult – a teacher, coach or parent – has excluded or prevented them from joining a club or team specifically because they’re a girl.

GGC believes girls need to have meaningful opportunities to explore their potential and determine the future they want for themselves. This fall, the organization will launch new programming designed to directly address the barriers girls face through such topics as girl empowerment, feminism, self-esteem and confidence, advocacy and activism. Visit girlguides.ca/workplacereport to learn more about the study.

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