Maxine Benson, Karen Gill, Jane Fallon, Chemmy Allcott and Michelle McDowell pictured with their aspiring younger counterparts. The women are supporters of the DSEP and aim to highlight the importance of raising self-esteem among young girls to ensure aspirations for future generations. Photograph by Rankin for Dove
Lowered self-esteem among today’s girls and young women could, by 2050, be costing the nation:
14% of our female managers in UK businesses
16% of our British female Olympic medalists
21% of our female MPs
17% of female doctors & lawyers
And reduce the chance of a female Prime Minister in the UK before 2050 by 18%

According to new research commissioned by Dove, this could become reality, as a lack of self-esteem among 11-17 year old girls prevents them from realising their full potential, with huge consequences for their personal and professional future.

As Dove launches the 2012 campaign for Dove Self-Esteem Programme (DSEP), the extent of the issue has become clear.

The study reveals the shocking impact of low self-esteem, with the business world looking set to suffer. If the status quo remains, the UK could be deprived of 200,000 female business professionals and 42,000 successful female entrepreneurs by 2050.

Britain’s sporting success will be hit badly too. Self and body-esteem issues could mean an estimated two to three potential female medalists drop out of sport and as a result, never step onto the winner’s podium in future games.

Low self-esteem could cost the nation 62 female MPs by 2050 if the issue of self-esteem amongst young girls continues

Mum featured top of the list (37%) as the most positive role model for young girls leapfrogging well-known celebrities such as Cheryl Cole (8%), Angelina Jolie (4%) and Kate Middleton (3%).

Low self-esteem affects how young girls feel about their future careers with only one in three feeling confident they will have a successful career in the future.

This has a huge impact on the medical and legal professions with the potential number of female doctors and lawyers reducing by 17%. That’s a shortfall of 20,000 female lawyers and around 35,000 doctors by 2050.

The shocking discontentment felt amongst young girls about their appearance is at the heart of the issue. Nearly half (45%) describe themselves as ‘average’ and ‘ordinary’ with a further 10% feeling ‘plain’, ‘unattractive’ and ‘ugly’.

Young girls are spending more time on make-up, beauty treatments and clothing than they are on homework

Social media portals may be hindering how confidently young girls interact with others face-to-face. A staggering 60% of girls using the internet agree that they feel more confident when interacting with people online

As a brand that is dedicated to building positive self-esteem, Dove has developed the 2012 Campaign for Dove Self-Esteem Programme (DSEP) to make a real change to the way young girls perceive and embrace beauty.

Through the DSEP, Dove will be reaching out to young people in the UK through self-esteem workshops, which will be held in schools all over the country.

Any Dove product bought between 26th March – 15th May 2012 will help to give a girl a self-esteem education. This will be delivered through a Dove donation of a minimum of £250,000 to BEAT (the UK’s leading charity for those affected by eating disorders) to deliver workshops in schools.

Ali Fisher, Dove Marketing Manager says “We are passionate about our social mission and want to continue to help young girls and women develop a positive relationship with their bodies. We’ve already reached over 800,000 young people in the UK as part of our Dove Self-Esteem Programme and our aim is to reach 1 million by the end of 2012. We really hope to create a step change for self-esteem with our 2012 campaign”.

Dove has also worked with some of its most accomplished supporters to highlight how low-self esteem issues, if not addressed at an early age can impact the number of successful women in the future.

Successful women such as Chemmy Allcott (Olympic skier), Michelle McDowell (Civil Engineer and MBE), Jane Fallon (Author) and Karen Gill and Maxine Benson (MBE & founders of Everywoman) have been photographed by Rankin with their younger aspiring counterparts to highlight the importance of raising self-esteem among young girls and to ensure aspirations for future generations.

Karen Gill and Maxine Benson from Everywoman (an organisation that challenges and changes the mindsets of women in business) said they were saddened by the research but said it was repairable, “It should be every woman’s mission to help eradicate self-esteem issues and this is why we are so passionate about the Dove Self-Esteem Programme”.