AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN WHEN
YOUNG GIRLS SEE THEIR ROLE MODELS
When we started The Female Lead, we had a simple mission: to help girls build self-confidence and self-belief. We know that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. We provide Role Models for girls (and boys) to inspire them. We share diverse and engaging stories about success and failure and how to keep your faith and passion for what you want to achieve in life. We want to see our future female leaders navigate the world with a new sense of purpose and confidence.
WATCH THE AMAZING MOMENT
8 YEAR OLD ILLIE MET HER IDOL BRIE LARSON
If ‘seeing is believing’ we need to ensure Role Models are accessible in all schools from an early stage.
We have proved that girls become more positive and ambitious at this moment of inspiration – and that it lasts. We see girls' faces light up when they see a successful woman who they can relate to; they start to believe that they might be able to do more. They start to build a career plan and dare to dream bigger.
HOW WE MEET OUR GOALS
Schools don't have teaching resources which reflect diversity and female achievement. So our charity has gifted books and films to thousands of schools. But we need to ramp up this campaign. For passive scrollers, social media algorithms often deliver popular/celebrity, even toxic content. This can cause feelings of inadequacy, leaving girls feeling ‘less’.
1 in 3
of people worry that social media has a negative impact on their mental health
girls believe that Instagram has made their body issues worse
increase in screen use among teens from 2019 - 2021 - growing more rapidly than the four years prior
a day spent on social media from the age of 13 has a higher clinical risk of suicide amongst girls
*POLL OF 56,000 SURVEYED IN FEBRUARY 2022
*STATISTIC FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
*STATISTIC FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
*Coyne, S.M., Hurst, J.L., Dyer, W.J. et al. Suicide Risk in Emerging Adulthood: Associations with Screen Time over 10 years. J Youth Adolescence 50, 2324–2338 (2021).
DISRUPT YOUR FEED RESEARCH
Disrupt Your Feed is all about protecting the mental health of girls, providing them with a way of enjoying social media - turning it from potential toxicity into a force for good.
Participants in the study reported positive outcomes from taking the lead in who they followed. We termed this ‘Disrupting Your Feed’. The Female Lead is able to suggest positive role models and content to girls around the world based on their passions, interests and ambitions.
Working with Cambridge psychologist and author, Dr Terri Apter, we have proved that 83% of campaign participants feel more optimistic about their future careers - 75% more confident about leadership roles.
HOW CAN WE CHANGE
THE TOXIC EFFECT?
Our research, which analysed thousands of the social media accounts of UK teens, found that girls who follow two or more Female Lead role models engage with social media in ways that differ from that of majority of teenage girls in the UK.
Role-model following teens were also much more likely to self-describe on social media with words such as “aspire”, “dream”, “enthusiast” and “feminist”.
We spoke to some of the girls who met their role models as part of our original Female Lead Role Models Campaign and, a few years on, they reflect on what it meant and still means to them.
"When I met Rosamund Pike, it was really amazing because she basically told me that women can do anything that men can do, no matter what it is. I have a lot of hobbies that now I feel more confident to do because of what she's told me"
"I met my role models. I spoke to them. Brie Larson made me feel more confident in myself and it's helped me a lot"
MAKING AN IMPACT
We are proud to have a strong presence in primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, around the world.
The Female Lead has its own dedicated section of the campaign known as 'The Female Lead Society'. Through this we interact with our network of establishments to deliver free books and an educational programme, aimed at teaching young women to overcome the barriers presented by social media and other societal pressures.
Until recently our focus has been on the UK and US, but we now have the ability to digitally reach young people worldwide.