With another year at school comes a clean slate and new opportunities to learn and grow. In uncertain economic times, it is ever more important to prepare pupils for success in the working world and to give them the best opportunity to bag the first step towards their dream job straight out of education. In this article, we will focus on how to inspire female students for the new academic year.
Women still face inequalities in the workplace, so it takes a special dedication to prepare them for the unjust disparity that they will meet without scaring them off the world of work completely. This is why we have put together a list of tips that don’t shy away from the realities of life at work, but which will inspire them to go out and break down barriers.
How to Inspire Female Students – the Tips
Be honest but present solutions
There is no point hiding the fact that the world of work can be tough for young women, but with the bad news, you also have to offer hope. Tell them about the pressures and prejudices in the working world, but open a forum for debate where girls can involve themselves in coming up with solutions too.
Bring in female business leaders to talk about their experiences and the ways that they overcame the obstacles they faced to succeed. Run workshops on real-life scenarios, discussing how to handle these situations in the future. Host a careers day where representatives from local employers come in and discuss what they are doing to level things up in their workplace.
Do whatever you can to ensure they go into the world of employment with their eyes open, but armed with skills and advice that will help them anticipate and overcome challenges.
Discuss female role models
It seems ridiculous that we are discussing inequality in 2022 still, but the workplace is still weighted against women. This makes it even more important to discuss and celebrate those who have broken and are continuing to break down boundaries.
As well as inviting successful businesswomen in to talk, make sure you study high-profile stories of female trailblazers. When considering how to inspire female students, showing them evidence of people helping to redress the balance is motivating.
As well as high-profile stories, look closer to home for inspiring stories as well. Have any fellow teachers overcome adversity? Is there someone in your home town who has made a difference against the odds? Help your female students see that the glass ceiling is there to be broken, not necessarily to stop them and ‘keep them in their place’.
Create a community
Often, business advice centres around the survival of the fittest. It prizes the individual above the pack and honours the lone wolves who step on their rivals to reach the pinnacle of the organisation. But the reality is that collaboration works much better for most successful business people.
When women in business work together to support each other, help each other out, offer an ear and a shoulder to cry on and celebrate each others’ successes, they create a powerful force to be reckoned with. There is a reason that ‘divide and conquer' is a well-worn tactic. Together there is strength.
Encourage your female students to collaborate. To work together and form a community that will be there for each other as they make their way into employment. It can be a sounding board for ideas and challenges that helps them make sense of the situations they face in the working world.
You can start that whilst they are still in education by encouraging these groups of like-minded students.
Concentrate on self-esteem and confidence
Self-esteem and confidence are essential skills for the workplace and one of the reasons that women are often overlooked is that they can be overshadowed by confident men who take over meetings and edge everyone else out.
Impacting the self-worth of your female pupils should be high on your priority list to help them make the step into the working world able to hold their own and not get lost in the noise.
You develop these qualities in your pupils by creating a supportive environment that listens to and values their opinions. Give them responsibilities that show you trust their expertise, such as mentoring younger children in the school.
Being very obvious about the faith and trust you put in your students provides a boost for their self-esteem and confidence that helps them understand their worth and what they bring to the school now and their workplace later.
Collaborate with their parents
As educators, you have an incredible influence over the lives and decisions of the pupils in your care. But there is another place from which they draw inspiration. Their parents.
It is in the best interests of the pupils if the school and parents work together to deliver a cohesive message to guide them through the next few years. Collaboration between these two major influences can be powerful in equipping students with the tools they need for the future.
Sometimes parents don’t realise the influence they still have. They can believe it might wane as their child approaches adulthood, but you must remind them that they still hold a great deal of sway.
Providing resources to parents about inspiring young women to take on the working world, as well as tips on how to discuss the challenges and opportunities they will meet in employment are great ways to synchronise the messaging between education and home.
How to Inspire Female Students With Empowering Programmes
We run empowering programmes in schools for young women. They help set them up for the world of work or to inspire them to start their own businesses. If you would like to find out what we could do for you, contact us today and let’s chat about how to inspire female students in your school.