Why is hearing from role models so important?

Diversity and leadership blog

Why is hearing from role models so important?

Following a recent webinar as part of the ‘Elevate’ programme –  our virtual, interactive programme to support and develop your leadership potential – we asked attendees whether they thought hearing from female role models was important. 70% said yes.
Even though it is now 2017, many women still find themselves the only female in a business meeting – or maybe one of two! Research consistently shows that the scarcity of female role models plays a major part in the persistence of gender stereotypes of leadership styles.

Role models are essential for women in all professions and it makes perfect sense. It can be hard to imagine being something you never get a good look at.

Actually though, there are deeper reasons why hearing stories from role models are so invaluable and impactful in our careers.

– Firstly, when we listen to stories our brains become more active which means we are more likely to remember the idea, the concept, the thought, the emotions that are being shared.
– Next, a story if broken down into its simplest form, is simply a connection between cause and effect which is exactly how we think.
– To add to this, when we hear a story we want to relate it to ourselves – our current situation or past experiences.

And finally, if you’re still not convinced to the power of these stories, then did you know that our careers are influenced by how we draw inspiration and learning from leaders both past and present? It’s hard to draw inspirational and learn from people if you never hear what they have to say.