Some of the UK’s top female business leaders are taking part in the event, including Google’s Chloe Arrowsmith, Sevasti Wong, a Managing Director at Accenture, HS2’s Commercial Director Beth West and Girlguiding’s own CEO Julie Bentley.
During the camp, held at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire, twenty girls aged 14 to 17 will be mentored by leading female executives from fields including higher education, engineering, finance, retail and the charity sector.
Girlguiding, the UK’s leading charity for girls and young women, released new research* this week revealing only a third (35%) of young women (age 17-21) entering the world of work and further study think they will be as successful as their male counterparts.
This is compared to a massive 90% of 9-10 year olds who think boys and girls have the same chance of succeeding in their careers, and 54% of 11-16 year olds.
The data suggests girls’ confidence plummets as they progress through secondary school, onto university and work, and are exposed to the barriers facing women in the workplace.
The research shows girls feel less proud of themselves, less powerful and less confident as they get older. Only 31% of young women aged 17-21 feel confident in themselves, compared to 63% of 7-10 year olds and 39% of 11-16 year olds.
In response to girls feeling this way, Girlguiding launched Camp CEO 2016 this week.
At the camp girls will receive one-to-one mentoring and expert career advice on how to overcome challenges and build confidence, develop interview techniques and networking skills.
Professor Pam Thomas, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Warwick said: “I am proud to be joining a scheme to mentor girls by demonstrating some of the different careers that are out there. It is tremendously important we encourage young women and help to build their confidence. We need to show them it is possible to succeed and if they desire, to become a senior leader in whatever business environment or profession they choose.”
Girlguiding’s Chief Executive Julie Bentley said: “Guiding builds girls’ confidence and empowers them to take on leadership roles from the very earliest age - giving them the safe space and support they need to grow and develop their potential.
“Yet this new research shows girls are lacking in confidence at an important stage in their lives when they are starting to think about the future, enter work or begin university.
“As the UK’s leading charity for girls and young women it’s our responsibility to change this through opportunities like Camp CEO – bringing together girls with successful female role models to fuel their ambition and build their confidence.”
Anousa Parkin, 17, who attended Camp CEO two years ago said: “Taking part in the camp and meeting the CEOs really helped boost my confidence. It made me believe I could succeed doing whatever I wanted and showed me there isn’t just one type person who can become a leader or businesswoman.
“Since Camp CEO I have set up my own business, selling my own artwork, cards and decorations at craft fairs and Teenage Markets. The skills and the confidence I gained from the camp really helped me in doing this.”
After the hard work there will be time for the professionals to experience a taste of the Girlguiding adventure – as they join in with adrenalin-fuelled activities such as water skiing and riding a hovercraft.
Camp CEO is able to take place thanks to generous funding to Girlguiding from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
Notes for editors
For more information about Camp CEO, interviews or photos please contact the Girlguiding press office on 020 7592 1733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*The research findings come from Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2016 which will be published in full at the end of September 2016. The Girls’ Attitudes Survey is the largest survey of its kind into the views of UK girls.
If you would like to be on the press release list for the release of the full survey please contact the Girlguiding press office on email@example.com
The research consisted of a survey of 1,627 girls and young women aged between 7 and 21 from across the UK both in and outside guiding who were asked about their attitudes on a range of issues.
A panel of young women from within Girlguiding worked with the project team to develop the survey.
Those surveyed form a representative sample across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and are not restricted to those involved in guiding.
Research was conducted by leading research specialists on children and young people Childwise.
The questionnaire was adapted to be suitable for different age groups (7-11, 11-16, 16-21), with some core questions asked of all groups.
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