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Lack of role models hindering women’s career progress

Ahead of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, a new nationwide study has today revealed that 43% of women believe they would be more successful if they had a role model in the workplace.

Ahead of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, a new nationwide study has today revealed that 43% of women believe they would be more successful if they had a role model in the workplace. The research commissioned by LinkedIn, national sponsor for UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, also revealed that whilst 67% of women do have someone they look up to in life, more than half (55%) agree that there is a lack of relatable role models in the workplace.

Lack of women in leadership roles remains an issue
The research comes as new LinkedIn data* highlights the lack of visible female role models at a senior level – just 25% of C-suite roles in the UK are held by women, despite them occupying 46% of entry level positions. The data also shows that men are 21% more likely to be promoted into a leadership position than women. This presents a new challenge to businesses when it comes to the retention of talent. One in four women admitted that they have changed jobs because there were no relatable role models to look up to or inspire them in their previous role.

However, some progress has been made. The hiring of women into roles at director level or above has seen incremental improvements over time, with women now making up 37% of leadership hires, compared to 31% in 2015.

Role models to retain talent
To inspire – and retain – talent in the workplace, it is important that leaders have the qualities employees are looking for from their role models. When asked, ability to do their job well (48%), values (48%), confidence (48%) and  leadership ability (44%) were all cited as admired qualities in a good professional role model.

Further demonstrating the need for more visible role models, professionals who have one, say they taught them to believe in themselves (76%), inspired them to achieve more (75%) and lifted them up when they were low (74%). Importantly, seven in ten say this influential figure has shown them what people of their gender can achieve, despite societal barriers.

However, 72% of those with a role model say there is still work to be done to make them more visible. Women, in particular, feel strongly about this lack of visibility, with 57% believing that having a relatable role model is crucial to achieving career success and 70% agreeing it’s easier to be like someone you can see.

Mayi Cruz Blanco, Athlete, Managing Director – Adecco Group Sports Partnerships and LHH Sports Solutions, added: “Equal opportunities at work are powerful levers of global prosperity. Empowered women, empower communities. In sports, it is fundamental to have female role models both on and off the field of play – this has a direct impact on incremental participation of women and girls. Women athletes, leaders, coaches, referees, administrators ​are advocates for development and drive investment. Equity is not the end goal but a means for sustainable business growth and opportunities. As an athlete and someone who has worked across the sports industry and focused on developing and growing the role of women in football, I am proud to support LinkedIn as National Sponsor of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022. The women competing at the tournament are both incredible athletes and inspirational role models for everyone.”

Janine Chamberlin, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, comments: “From the conversations we increasingly see on LinkedIn, visible role models play a vital role in shaping people’s careers, regardless of what stage they’re at. Visible role models are also vital for the retention of talent. Seeing others in roles people wish to emulate, encourages them to believe in their own abilities and helps them set goals for themselves, regardless of gender, race, age or sexuality.

“We want to spotlight and celebrate inspirational women across LinkedIn’s community of 32+ million UK professionals. It’s this visibility which enables today’s and tomorrow’s professionals to overcome barriers that may impact their progress, and ultimately supports building a fairer and more equitable workplace for all.”

Chloe Morgan, professional goalkeeper for Crystal Palace F.C. and City Lawyer, comments: I’m proud to be working alongside LinkedIn to highlight the importance of visible role models, particularly in helping professional females achieve success. When women see other women achieving their own goals, they are more likely to believe in themselves to do the same – this is something I have witnessed first-hand both in my sporting and legal careers. It’s also why I’m heavily involved in mentoring programmes, to empower future generations. While the research shows there’s still more to be done, LinkedIn’s sponsorship of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 helps give women another platform to inspire and be inspired.”

LinkedIn is a national sponsor of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 as part of the brand’s wider efforts to champion workplace equality and spotlight visible role models that inspire future generations – on and off the pitch. Both LinkedIn and UEFA recognise the importance of ensuring that current professionals and women of tomorrow are equipped to overcome any barriers that may impact their success.

As part of its partnership with UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, LinkedIn is working alongside former professional footballer and the first female captain to take the Lionesses to a European final in 1984, Carol Thomas BEM. Encouraging people to ‘Follow in Her Footsteps’, Carol will be retracing her historic steps and walking from Crewe (the site of the first match in 1984) to Old Trafford where this year’s tournament will kick off and will be joined by some famous faces along the way. These include Crystal Palace goalkeeper and qualified lawyer, Chloe Morgan; Director of Women’s Football, Iqra Ismail; former England footballer Rachel Yankey and retired Swedish footballer, and Carol’s former opponent, Anette Borjesson.

All trailblazers themselves, these women are staunch supporters of having relatable and inspiring role models for women and are paving the way for females to reach their goals in their industry.

Follow Carol on LinkedIn and join the conversation #FollowInHerFootsteps 

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