Jo Wimble-Groves’ new book Rise of the Girl – Seven empowering conversations to have your daughter is out now and gives practical advice on how to raise confident young girls.
Growing up I always felt a need to be perfect – the perfect daughter, the A* student and the best athlete, with a perfect body and a perfect life, no mistakes or slips allowed. However, that led to crippling anxiety, awful body image and generally low self-esteem.
It took years of work to boost my self-confidence, which is still an on-going fight, to start seeing myself in a different light, to be prouder of my achievements and to allow myself to make mistakes.
However, I am only one of many young girls and women who have felt this way throughout their lives. How can we change that for future generations of empowered women?
Jo Wimble-Groves’ Rise of the Girl is a great tool to start working on building young girls’ self-confidence. Wimble-Groves aka Guilty Mother offers a practical guide for parents of girls aged 7-20, which, through personal stories and anecdotes, shares advice and inspiration on how to raise confident and resilient daughters.
Through seven conversations to have with daughters, Wimble-Groves tackles the main issues which might be holding back young girls from reaching their full potential.
In the book, Wimble-Groves speaks about the importance of raising your hand, which is really about taking risks. Living in a society where you constantly feel pressure to be perfect, taking a risk which might result in a failure can be scary. For this reason, girls might not raise their hand in class, unless they are 100% confident of their answer.
This issue then translates into the working world, with female employees being less likely to go for a promotion if they do not meet all of the criteria compared to their male colleagues. One quote from the book I loved is “raising a hand today is about being braver today than you were yesterday”. It is indeed true that it is important to teach young girls to seize opportunities and lead the life they want to, and that that can start with something as small, or big depending on the perspective, as raising their hand.
Amongst the other topics explored, Wimble-Groves covers failure, learning from it and how to bounce back, keeping an open-mind about new possibilities, but also the importance of quitting when things do not seem to be right for you.
All of these, are important learning points to reflect and work on to raise the next generation of female leaders.
Another great aspect of Rise of the Girl is the mixture of voices and stories shared by famous parents throughout the book, which, mixed with the sincere tone and relatable examples, makes it a more approachable guide to tackling the problems and dilemmas that many readers will relate to.
Some of the parents featured in the books are Anna Whitehouse, Steve Backley OBE, Helen Thorn, Nimsdai Purja MBE and Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Clark MBE.
Regarding writing Rise of the Girl, Wimble-Groves says: “When I looked at my own daughter, I considered what role I have to play in talking to her about leadership and allowing her to lead from a young age. Do we ask girls enough about what they feel they are good at? How are they channelling their own strengths to build on their skills and self-confidence?”
She adds: “All of these thoughts were considered when writing Rise of the Girl and the seven conversations that were happening in our household. In my view, now is the time for our girls to rise. To explore opportunity and thrive in a modern world that is accepting of how brilliant they are.”
Rise of the Girl is a honest, down-to-earth guide, filled with practical advice and I would recommend this book to anyone who has a young girl at home, works with or knows one. Moreover, many of these conversations and reflection points can be useful for any women – after all, we were all girls once – and I believe that it is never too late to apply them to your own life.