March 10, 2022

A new study is being trotted out as proof that young girls don’t have career aspirations to lead, but further examination of the research shows they simply want better role models than today’s political leaders.

Research commissioned by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) has caused controversy online today after reports surfaced that stated ‘Girls want to enjoy work but not lead’, based on the study.

Headlines based on the survey of girls aged 9 to 18, across state and private schools in England and Wales, implied girls are less ambitious than boys when it came to leading a workforce, but further examination of the report show that they simply want to lead in less irresponsible and unethical way than today’s role models.

According to the study, ‘being a leader’ was the lowest priority in a list of 17 career ambitions and only 33% wanted to be their own boss. Instead, they tend to prioritise being respected over being a leader per se, and are nearly three times as likely to prioritise being healthy and safe than be a leader (why those two things are competing with each other in this survey remains to be seen, as one can imagine that when given a choice between ‘being healthy’ or ‘being a leader’, the majority of people regardless of gender or age would choose to be… healthy).

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