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November 2012
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Being Inspired by Female Role Models

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Saturday morning reinforced for me just how much the world is changing for women.

 

I was getting my 10-year old daughter, Sophie, ready for a school football match.

 

Ten years ago, maybe five years ago, well – let’s be honest, maybe even five months ago, before the Olympics – there would have been very few of us who had any idea about women’s football, and even less idea about who the role models of women’s football might be.

 

Not anymore.

 

I asked Sophie which position she wanted to play. “I want to be the goal shooter like Kelly Smith,” she said.

 

Ten years old, and already she has a female football role model. How fantastic is that!

 

Kelly Smith, I salute you for what you have done to inspire a new generation of women. You can read more about Kelly in her autobiography.

 

This experience was all the more salient to me since for the last few weeks I have been immersing myself in books like The End of Men, by Hanna Rosin, The Richer Sex, by Liza Mundy, and Little Miss Geek, by Belinda Parmar.

 

The message of the first two, loud and clear, is that the time for women is coming, due to trends in education, work and family life that are about to reach a tipping point. In contrast, Belinda Parmar is on a mission to get more women interested in and working in the technology field – a hugely laudable goal.

 

I’ll write more on all of these topics in future blogs. For now, though, I thought it was salient that one of the points in Belinda’s 10-point Lady Geek Manifesto to increase the number of women in technology was to provide and celebrate female technology role models – a Female Heroes Programme.

 

As Sophie’s experience attests, this matters. Kelly Smith is already doing this for football, inspiring young girls like Sophie.

 

It’s time to celebrate great women across every field of endeavour, as we have started to do in previous posts on The Capp Blog, including The 21 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising, Here are (some of) the Women in Tech, Where are the Women Conference Speakers? and Celebrating Women’s Strengths on International Women’s Day.

 

For the “little Sophies” all around the world, we should seize every opportunity we can to inform and inspire them with the possibilities and potential of women.

 

The future is going to be female, after all.

 

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4 Responses to Being Inspired by Female Role Models

  • Judy Krings says:

    Right on! I hope this blog ripples across the universe to help women all over the world unite. Many thanks!

  • SJ says:

    I think that’s a great point, positive role models are very important at that age.

    That last line’s a bit disconcerting though; surely the future belongs to both today’s young women and young men.

    • Alex Linley says:

      SJ, thank you, that’s a great point. What I was referring to with the last line is all of the evidence showing that social trends are moving in favour of women, after hundreds (thousands?) of years in which they predominantly favoured men. Let me be absolutely clear though – this is a relative shift, not an absolute one, so you are quite right that young men will have their own vitally important part to play in the future as well. Thanks for your comment!

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