Girls in Girlguiding are the most confident of them all

New Girlguiding research published today, on International Day of the Girl, highlights the confidence challenge faced by UK girls.

New Girlguiding research published today, on International Day of the Girl, highlights the confidence challenge faced by UK girls and the important role the charity plays in empowering girls and boosting their confidence when they need it most. 

The research found overall that girls aged between 10 and 15, report lower confidence and self-worth than boys. The findings showed confidence levels significantly drop as girls hit adolescence. At ten years old, little to no difference in girls’ confidence was found, however, by age 12 girls are 17% less likely to report high confidence compared to boys, increasing to 24% by age 15. This trend can be seen across UK society, even when controlling for outside factors like ethnicity, disability, religion or location.1  

When making comparisons between girls inside and outside of Girlguiding, the research revealed girls aged 10-15 reported feeling up to 23% higher in confidence than the UK average. Girlguiding’s positive influence on girls’ confidence almost triples between early and mid-adolescence. 

Compared to UK girls, findings showed girls in Girlguiding aged between 10 and 15 are 12% more likely to say they aren’t nervous in new situations​, 8% more likely to say they’re as able as others, ​and 4% more likely to say they have a number of good qualities. 

At age 11, compared to UK girls, Girlguiding girls are 8% more likely to say they’re not nervous in new situations. By age 15 this rises to 23%. 

At age 11, compared to UK girls and UK boys, Girlguiding girls are 9% more likely to say they’re not nervous in new situations. By age 15 this again rises to 23%. 

The report also found 91% of girls in guiding when asked, said that they have fun at their weekly meetings, which are delivered by volunteers. 2 The benefits of the charity are not limited to its younger members, Girlguiding’s volunteers report higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction than the average UK adult who doesn’t volunteer with any organisation.3  

The impact report follows Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey published last month, which found girls’ happiness is at an all-time low as they face appearance pressures, online harms and sexual harassment. 4 

Girlguiding CEO, Angela Salt said: “Our Girls’ Attitudes Survey, released last month revealed that girls’ happiness is at a 15-year low. That makes the findings of our impact report even more critical and shows that Girlguiding plays a vital role in providing a space for girls to explore, have fun and belong, all whilst building their confidence to navigate the pressures that come with being a girl in 2023. We look forward to reaching and supporting more girls as we work towards closing the confidence gap even further.”   

Girlguiding advocate and Ranger, Millie 16, said: “As a Ranger I know I have a place to be myself and make new friends, whether that be in weekly unit meetings or summer camp. I’ve always been told that girls can do anything and being a Girlguiding member has given me the chance to prove this – especially as an advocate. Being on the advocate panel has allowed me to take part in many opportunities and improve my confidence in new and exciting situations. It’s fantastic to see this positive impact is widespread throughout the organisation and girls have a space to discover the world with confidence.”  

International Day of The Girl 

To celebrate the findings of Girlguiding’s Impact report, ahead of International Day of the Girl, Girlguiding took to Westfield London to help spread the word that girls can do anything. 

Shoppers were invited to make affirmations about their confidence in front of an interactive magic mirror. Replicating the famous fairy-tale line with a twist. When prompted, participants asked ‘Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the most confident of them all?’ in response to the question, their own reflection was presented. 

Girls were also given a special Girlguiding International Day of The Girl badge to celebrate the day. 

Girlguiding helps all girls know that they can do anything. Through fun, friendship, challenge and adventure Girlguiding empowers girls to find their voice, inspiring them to discover the best in themselves and to make a positive difference in their community.

Read the report

Read our impact report and find out how we're making a difference to girls' lives.