- Families & Volunteers
Local Girl Scouts to launch Ban Bossy Campaign at Council Annual Meeting
The words we use to label girls matter, say Girl Scouts about their newest public awareness campaign, Ban Bossy, which is being launched at the Girl Scouts Louisiana East’s Annual Meeting this Saturday in Gramercy. The local council staff, who will be distributing Ban Bossy materials to each meeting delegate, is encouraging its members to join in the national dialogue started in mid March by Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez and LeanIn.org founder, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
According to council CEO Jackie Alexander, who will be talking about this latest initiative, people don’t realize how they inadvertently hold girls back through language like bossy.
“When a little boy asserts himself, he is called a leader. When a little girl asserts herself, she is frequently called “bossy,” said Alexander. “We’re holding her back, rather than encouraging her to develop her leadership skills.”
Alexander said that in a recent Girl Scouts Research Institute (GSRI) study a third of girls attributed their lack of wanting to lead due to fear of being called bossy or disliked by their peers.
“By banning the word, we are seeking to empower girls to feel equally entitled to lead,” said Alexander. “Our number one goal of the campaign is to encourage leadership in girls.”
The Ban Bossy campaign includes a website for girls, parents, troop leaders, and educators (www.banbossy.com) along with downloadable leadership tips and activities. In March Lifetime TV began airing a “Ban Bossy” PSA with appearances by Chávez and Sandberg, as well as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, performer Beyoncé, actress Jennifer Garner, fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg, and others.
“We want all girls to know they can be anything they want to be,” said Alexander. “So the next time you have the urge to call your little girl ‘bossy’, take a deep breath and say, ‘My daughter has executive leadership skills.’”