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Mums rated top role models in Girlguiding poll


Mums are six times more likely than female celebrities, including popstars and actresses, to land the top female role model spot a survey by Girlguiding has shown.

Well over half (58%) of the respondents who named their biggest female role model growing up rated their Mum or female guardian top, with celebrities including the often-celebrated female icons Madonna and Beyoncé coming a far second with just 10% of the vote.

When asked who their top female role model was growing up:

  • 58% of the respondents who provided an answer said mother (or female guardian) – with the 25 to 34 year old age group being the most likely to cite their Mum (65%).
  • Compared to 10% who rated a female celebrity top with  Madonna, Emma Watson and Victoria Beckham getting frequent mentions
  • 5% said a female politician inspired them with Margaret Thatcher being the most popular. Shockingly, no-one polled in the 18-24 year old age group said they looked up to a female politician compared to 8% of respondents aged 45 to 54
  • Just 4% rated a famous sportswoman top highlighting the lack of coverage and awareness about women in sport
  • Worryingly, just 2% said a famous woman working in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) was their role model and even fewer respondents could actually name a well-known female working in this field

These results chime with former Girlguiding research showing that 55% of girls feel there aren’t enough positive female role models in the media*  and highlight the massive influence Mums and female guardians have in girls’ lives.

Sara and Charlotte’s story  

Mum Sara Morgan from Northumberland opened the 1st Lowick Brownie unit in her local village as her daughter Charlotte had always wanted to be a Brownie and there were few activities on offer to young people in the area.

Sara said:  “Charlotte has always wanted to be a Brownie and I myself had been one years ago. There’s very little for the girls to do in our area so I wanted to do something that would be of value to them.

“When Charlotte found out I was opening a Brownie group, she was thrilled. She was so excited about becoming a Brownie and even more so that I would be there.

“At home, we’re always busy and don’t always get time to do the fun stuff so doing it together at Brownies is great – I get to see the enjoyment she is having first hand. I can see the pride in Charlotte’s eyes when the other girls think I’ve done something cool too!”

“I’ve done so much with Charlotte and the other Brownies from trips to the beach and the local fire station to learning first aid and going to a nearby Birds of Prey Sanctuary where we had spiders put on our heads!”

Charlotte, age 9, said: “I was very very excited when I found out Mum was going to open a Brownie group – I was very proud of her.

“It’s great because when we’re doing badges she tells me before the other Brownies what we’ll be doing and I get to share all the exciting things we do with her.”


Volunteers are the foundations of Girlguiding and mums make up the core of the volunteering community – with thousands across the country running groups with their adult daughters or opening units in new areas so their young daughters can take part.