“By age 12, 50% of girls aspire to stereotypical gender roles. How can this be possible when the world is so full of outstanding female role models?” These are the words of Miriam González Durántez, founder of Inspiring Girls, the international nonprofit organization that supports female empowerment and the role of women in the society encouraging young girls between 11 and 15 to dream bigger and follow their ambitions, free from stereotypes.
During adolescence, girls experience a 30 percent drop in self-confidence, leading them to direct their education and career ambitions toward what they are expected to do (www.confidencecodegirls.com). Knowing successful female role models is important for rethinking personal aspirations, regaining self-confidence and the possibility of building their own future.
Inspiring young people, educating and elevating the creativity of adolescents, especially girls, is a goal that Fedrigoni also cherishes. The global partnership with Inspiring Girls International was created to realize these aspirations in every country where the company exists, through activities held in schools or at special events.
In Italy, the project just celebrated its first anniversary: it started in November 2021 in a junior high school in Milan and personally involved two Fedrigoni managers who carried out the workshops with young male and female students aged 12-13. The managers told their own story and experience, retracing their career path and the hurdles they faced; the class was then involved in a workshop with our group’s paper and self-adhesive materials to stimulate their resourcefulness, with the aim of encouraging girls and young people to follow their aspirations freely and believe in their talent.
The initiative was born to have an international outlook: similar workshops will soon start in some schools in Spain, France, Brazil and Chile, countries where Fedrigoni is present with its plants. And in Italy, too, the meetings will increase.
At the recent Festival del Disegno, organized by Fabriano (Fedrigoni Group), the partnership with Inspiring Girls resulted in the special “Draw Your Story” workshop dedicated to youngsters, which featured Fraffrog, a young, successful Tuscan designer and well-known youtuber, in the role of ‘role model’ for the entire day, who was dedicated to showing participants (aged 12 to 15) how to tell and draw their own stories and their lives, highlighting their own qualities and differences as strengths.
‘We are all different and special in our own way,’ Fraffrog pointed out. This is a message that Fedrigoni and Inspiring Girls also want to bring to young people and girls at heart: be yourself, be confident in your talent, and be your own person!
Miriam González Durántez testifies how bringing inspirational role models together with young teenagers can really make a difference: 93% of girls then begin to think differently, to have higher personal and career aspirations.