If you’ve got a young girl in your life — a daughter, a niece, a granddaughter, a young friend — here’s a campaign you definitely should know about: Ban Bossy.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, author of the best-selling book Lean In, has joined forces with a group of high powered women — including former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, CEO of the Girl Scouts Anna Maria Chávez, and a host of celebrity spokespeople — to launch a public service campaign aimed at stomping out the B-word when describing young girls.
“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a leader,” Sandberg says. “Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.”
The negative connotations of that word send the wrong message to young girls: Don’t raise your hand, don’t speak up, don’t lead. As a result, by middle school, girls tend to be less interested in leadership roles than boys are — a trend that continues into adulthood and accounts for the fact that women are still underrepresented at the highest level of leadership.
So Sandberg and company are asking everyone to take a pledge to #BanBossy and instead, to describe strong young girls with words that have more positive, empowering associations: assertive, confident, resilient, ambitious. In other words, the kind of terms that are used to describe powerful men.
Check out the campaign’s inspiring video:
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