Women lacking in confidence
A MISSION Australia youth survey has revealed that almost 20 per cent of young women lack confidence in their academic ability.
The 2015 survey included responses from almost 19,000 young Australians aged between 15 and 19 on barriers they identified as preventing them from reaching their goals.
Almost 20 per cent of young women said academic ability was a barrier for them compared to almost 14 per cent of men.
Mission Australia state director Amanda Hunt said the survey showed equity and discrimination were higher on the agenda than in previous years.
“While we shouldn’t oversimplify such responses, it does concern me that young women – who academically achieve on par, if not better than, males – appear to be lacking confidence in their skills,” Ms Hunt said. “It highlights the increased need to tackle wider gender equality.
“Despite some progress, women are still woefully underrepresented in leadership roles across all sectors; without strong female role models, I fear young women will continue to lack the confidence to aim high and attain their goals.”
Former Shenton College student and recently announced Rhodes Scholar Ilona Quahe held several leadership roles including University of WA Student Guild councillor and United Nations Youth WA president.
In 2011, Ms Quahe founded Ignite Mentoring, a charity comprising 90 university student volunteers who support 200 high school students from low socioeconomic area schools
“The fact that statistic is there shows there is still a problem of young women doubting themselves,” she said. “This year, I was the only girl out of six candidates for the Rhodes Scholarship in WA.
“Potentially this is because women are not putting themselves forward.”