(Newsroom America) -- Girls and women around the world view inner strength as important as happiness – and those two qualities are nearly two times more significant than physical beauty and wealth. Yet, eight out of 10 women feel they have not reached their full potential, according to new global research conducted and published by Special K.
This startling statistic represents the "strength gap" – recognized as the difference between how strong women feel (from the inside out) vs. how strong she could be, or her potential.
In a time where women are seemingly at their strongest with 77 percent feeling they possess inner strength – leading global companies, increasingly occupying boards, and bringing new dimensions to gender roles in and out of homes worldwide – three quarters still wish they possessed even greater reserves.
Following International Women's Day on March 8, Special K is taking a stance as a leader in the food and nutrition space – an area that has a significant impact on girls and women's sense of self – by announcing its commitment to educating young women about this gap through a partnership with the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign.
Special K's report, "The New Face of Strength," reveals that many women feel the factors contributing to women's inner strength are within their control – such as nutrition, fitness, a sense of community and mental and emotional wellbeing. In fact, 68 percent of women surveyed cited food as important in fueling inner strength.
"Inner strength is as important as happiness to women around the world – and nearly two times more significant than physical beauty and wealth," said Doug VandeVelde, Senior Vice President at Kellogg Company. "We are committed to better understanding what defines inner strength, what it means for women today and the vital role nutrition plays in unlocking a woman's inner strength. Through our partnership with Girl Up in 2017, we'll provide key nutrition education for 500,000 girls and young women to help guide them toward their full potential."
A movement within the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up is led by girls and for girls, with the mission of uniting girls and empowering them to take action on behalf of the hardest-to-reach girls in places around the world where it's hardest to be a girl.
"We have nearly half a million advocates raising awareness, engaging and educating girls to change the world," said Anna Blue, deputy director of Girl Up. "We're thrilled to join forces with Special K to further our mission of inspiring girls and women to learn about their inner strength to make change for girls around the world."
It is within every girl and woman to reach their maximum potential in all aspects of life. Customized nutrition workshops and digital programs made available by Special K and Girl Up are critical resources to ensure young women around the world have the tools they need to live life at full strength, and they provide a way for the communities associated with both organizations to help build and support female empowerment.
A number of findings detailed in "The New Face of Strength" attest to the importance of inner strength among women, including:
The stronger a woman feels, the more confident and motivated she is – which, in turn, impacts her positivity and proactivity.
Nine out of 10 women consider inner strength to be key to success, just ahead of intellect.
80 percent of women feel stronger when helping others, contributing to a chain of strength – yet only 57 percent say they have received support from another woman.
For example, 84 percent of women in the US, 79 percent of women in the UK, 83 percent of women in Australia, 86 percent of women in Canada, 89 percent of women in Mexico and 79 percent of women in France say they feel stronger when helping others.
Inner strength is complex and multidimensional, and it varies by situation – 79 percent of women view determination as an important attribute in a professional space, yet only 59 percent view the trait as important when parenting.
Inner strength is viewed as an inherently female trait or need – 62 percent say that inner strength is most needed by women, with 9 percent feeling it is most needed by men. We know nutrition contributes to the inner strength gap as 92 percent of women believe that food plays a vital role in how strong they feel.