#banbossy: A Movement to Empower Girls to Lead, Sans Namecalling

iD Tech in action

There's a new girls' movement in town called "Ban Bossy." Designed to empower girls to become leaders, the initiative is supported by some seriously awesome, powerful women.

We're talking Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. First Lady Michelle Obama. Beyoncé. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Actresses Jayne Lynch and Jennifer Garner. The Girl Scouts. The list goes on.

Image from blog.gscm.org

So, why ban the word "bossy?"

Well, to start, "bossy" is an adjective used primarily to describe girls or women who demonstrate strong leadership characteristics and a "get things done" attitude. Whereas males exhibiting the same characteristics may be seen as future leaders who are fulfilling their "natural" roles, females are often thought to be rude, demanding, or pushy. With this mentality, it's no wonder that only 4.6% of top U.S. leadership positions are held by women.

A few facts from Ban Bossy:

  • Between elementary and high school, girls’ self–esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles will make them seem “bossy.”
  • Girls get less airtime in class. They are called on less and interrupted more.

The women behind the movement have set out to reshape the way we think and talk about ambitious girls, in order to increase the prevalence of females in top leadership positions across the nation. Visit banbossy.com and check out the official videos to learn more:

Looking for a summer program that fosters leadership skills in girls? iD Tech has recently launched Alexa Café, an all-girls, summer tech program held at Palo Alto High School in Northern California. Girls ages 10-14 discover coding, web design, leadership, entrepreneurship, brand identity, philanthropy, and more, in a chic, collaborative setting. Visit AlexaCafe.com for more details.

A photo of Kendall

A San Jose State grad of Women’s Studies and Music, Kendall joined iD as a writer in 2013. She likes social equality and vegetarianism, and plays in an indie dream pop band.

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