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Challenging the gender balance in Manager roles

Less than 28% of managers in Scouting are female, with only 15% of County Commissioners. As one female District Commissioner strongly expressed, female managers should only be in role because they are the right people for the job, and not just as a tokenistic gesture towards making the ratios look better. However, female managers have also shared their experiences and offered advice on making these roles more accessible for women, highlighting some current issues.

Perceptions to challenge

‘I think scouting is still seen as a male organisation and in some longstanding male Scouters you will never change that view. However as a new generation of leaders move through the system I think the gender challenges will be a thing of the past.’ Female County Commissioner

‘There is still a tendency within Scouting for the roles to be ‘historical’ – such as the Beaver and Cub Leaders being predominantly female. This I am trying to address in my District by introducing some male leaders which I feel gives a better balance for the young people.  I am not anti the traditional roles, but I think assumptions are often made that these roles ‘should’ be almost gender specific, and because of this assumption, people are disinclined to challenge the current ‘norm’. Female District Commissioner

‘As a Deputy County Commissioner I stood in on two occasions for the County Commissioner (CC) at the Regional CC’s Conference and it was very much male dominated and I did feel I wasn’t being taken seriously. Since becoming CC, and other female CCs have come into post, the dynamics of the meetings have now changed and it’s not an “old boys club” feeling anymore’  Female County Commissioner

‘People are still amazed when I tell them girls can and do join Scouting.  We need to continue to promote girls in Scouting, and encourage and support women in management roles’  Female County Commissioner 

Addressing the balance


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