I just came across a fantastic resource to teach girls that its okay (and  encouraged) to be a leader.  Ban Bossy is an initiative by Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) and the Girl Scouts of USA.  Their front page leads with the following:

“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”

This is an awesome initiative.  It has resources for parents, teachers, managers, troop leaders and most importantly, for the girls themselves.  To give you a quick sample, here are the main sections from the sources for parents:

  • Encourage girls and boys equally to lead
  • Be conscious of the way you and she talk
  • Make your home an equal household
  • Teach her to respect her feelings
  • Moms and grandmoms: model assertive behaviour
  • Dads and granddads: know your influence
  • Seize the power of organized sports and activities
  • Get media literate – together
  • Let her solve problems on her own
  • Encourage her to step outside her comfort zone

Interestingly, many of the points I’m reading here are also being raised in the book 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen by Barbara Stegemann.  I’ll be doing a review of that book once I’ve finished it.


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