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Should the gender of your role models matter?

01st - 08th March 2024

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Total votes


5-11 votes


11-16+ votes

In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March, voters discussed role models. Across all the lessons, they had the opportunity to discuss the people they look up to, and reflect on whether gender should be a contributing factor when it comes to who influences them.

Role Models VT Child

Age 5-11 voter

"I feel they should be like you because I would like to follow the same path as my role model."

Role Models VT Teen

Age 11-16 voter

"It is easier to relate to someone who is the same as you. Girls and boys are treated differently."

Role Models VT Student

Age 16+ voter

"We talked about how role models can be anyone, but we are likely to see *something* of ourselves in them, even if it isn't gender."

87% of 5-7-year-olds said that they have role models in their life.

  • Those aged between 5-7 were asked, "Do you have any role models?"
  • Almost 9 in 10 argued that they do.
77% of 7-11-year-olds argued that your role models don't need to be like you.

  • Those aged between 7-11 were asked, "Should your role models be like you?"
  • 77% voted 'No', with some giving examples of those who they look up to who are different to them.
80% of those aged between 11 & 16+ said that the gender of your role models shouldn't matter.

  • Voters aged 11-16+ were asked, "Should the gender of your role models matter?"
  • 4 out of 5 students voted 'No'.
Some students argued that there is usually some way of identifying with your role models, even if it isn't gender.

  • Comments we received from teachers and students suggest that female voters were more likely to vote 'No' than male.
  • Some said that even if the gender of your role model doesn't match your own, it's likely that you identify with them in some way.