Tags: ban | bossy | girls | leadership

'Ban Bossy' Campaign Seeks to Encourage Girls' Leadership Skills

By Morgan Chilson   |   Monday, 10 Mar 2014 06:32 PM

In an effort to ban "bossy" from vocabularies, stars like Beyonce and Jennifer Garner are teaming up with Girl Scouts of the USA and LeanIn.org for a campaign that encourages leadership qualities in girls.

The Ban Bossy website is dotted with female and male leaders who talk about how leadership attitudes are often squashed in girls.

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“The confidence gap starts early,” the website warns. “Between elementary and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.”

And along with statistics about how girls are typically spoken to about their "bossy" attitudes come messages of change from leaders across numerous industries.

“We need to recognize the many ways we systematically discourage leadership in girls from a young age — and instead, we need to encourage them," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, says on the Ban Bossy site. "So the next time you have the urge to call your little girl bossy? Take a deep breathe and praise her leadership skills instead.”

“Words matter,” says actress Garner, who has two daughters, on the website. “When a little girl is called bossy when she leads, it’s telling her to be quiet. I don’t want girls to be quiet. I want them to roar!”

Despite research and statistics quoted on the Ban Bossy website showing that gender bias in classrooms and homes creates an attitude that discourages girls from leading, some don't feel the campaign will accomplish much.

“Banning a word will make zero difference," wrote a commenter on a Yahoo article. "A person is either a leader or is not a leader and you can't ban enough words to change that. Leaders are born and from that point they either choose to lead or step aside to let someone else take the lead."

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