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Equipping young girls to face the future with confidence

31 August 2019

There are transformational changes affecting the way we work and the future of work and for girls in particular, this can be anxiety-inducing. Visible female role models are a powerful way to build their confidence and increase their aspirations. 

 

Young girls growing up in the 21st century face a unique set of challenges. On a personal level, theyreport they feel pressure to fit in, look good, be cool, be smart, be popular and to be liked on social media. Looking to the future, they are worried about climate change, cost of living and especially jobs.

 

More specifically, young Australians in general, lack confidence about their working futures.According to the FYA (Foundation for Young Australians) report, The New Work Reality, published in 2018, among 18 to 24-year olds looking for work, 28% reported anxiety in the previous year and more than 40% said they were affected by stress.

 

Many young people believe they do not have the appropriate education, vocational or practical experience to gain full-time work. In particular, they are worried about the automation of work and how it will affect their future. 

 

These concerns are to some extent, well-founded. The New Work Reality report states that young peoples' perception is supported by the reality that automation is predicted to radically affect 70% of entry level jobs. Entry level positions are particularly at risk with 60% of students being trained in jobs that will be radically changed by automation.

 

In this period of rapid technological change, there are not only career challenges, but also significantopportunities for young Australians.

 

The new work reality

 

One of the key findings of The New Work Reality report is that young people need to develop certain skills to gain full-time employment –- “to take advantage of these opportunities we need to ensure every young person is equipped for a lifetime of learning, diverse ways of working, and the hearts and minds to help build the future.” 

It's also clear that mental agility and confidence will be critical to success, with the World Economic Forum stating that creativity, critical thinking and complex problem solving, are the top three skills we will need to thrive at work in 2020. 

 

Unique challenges for girls

 

There’s no doubt that with the changing future of work, instead of making study and work decisions based on a represent different cultures and industries They have each followed unique career paths and successfully defied gender stereotypes. 

 

They are living, breathing examples of women who are valued for their accomplishments and contributions and not just their appearance. When girls see this, it builds their self-esteem, expands their expectations and their awareness of what’s possible.

 

“We believe that when girls see who they can be, it gives them courage and hope for the future and helps them to break down the barriers, limitations and stereotypes they face every day,” says Georgie Ondaatje, CEO and co-founder of EmpowerGirl.  

 

“Giving young girls access to female role models across all ages, races, cultures and industries, can fundamentally change what they believe is possible for their own lives. When they can envisage themselves succeeding in a career they love, they’re truly transformed and empowered.”

 

Georgina Ondaatje and Anna May will be part of the Future of Work Day - Thursday 5 September Morning (T)ech session: Empowering Girls Futures

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