One of my favorite childhood memories is having family dinner every single night. We would talk and laugh around the dining room table. It wasn’t unusual to find one of our two poodles climbing on the table while we were putting food out or my little sister climbing on her chair to make an announcement to make sure that we were listening to her. We used to call her the b-word, bossy. Tonight, I had dinner with my mom and sister and told them about the Ban Bossy campaign. We decided that Rebecca had really been exhibiting executive leadership skills at a young age.
The Ban Bossy campaign was started by Facebook COO and Lean In founder Sheryl Sandberg, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, and Anna Maria Chávez, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA. In a recent Girl Scouts study of girls age eight to seventeen, one-third of girls who said they didn’t want to be leaders attributed their hesitancy to a fear of being disliked by their peers. One of the statistics in the campaign shows that, “The confidence gap starts early. Between elementary and high school, girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys.” I don’t think that it is so much about banning a word, but more, about changing how girls think that they will be judged for speaking up and being leaders. The campaign states, “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’ Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”
Here is more information about the campaign:
You can find the full campaign here.
What do you think? Like all campaigns, there has been some disagreement. I’d love to know your opinion!