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Women Team Up to ‘Ban Bossy’ and Encourage Girls to Lead

Posted By Mary C. Hickey On March 10, 2014 @ 3:43 pm In Notebook | Comments Disabled

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.

Ban Bossy Logo_Center_RGB (1)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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