Ban Bossy offers tips for building strong leaders

By middle school, girls are 25 percent less likely than boys to say they like taking the lead. When girls assert themselves, they are often accused of being “bossy.” Ban Bossy is an initiative cosponsored by LeanIn.Org and Girl Scouts of the USA to lift up female leaders and foster leadership skills in girls.

Leadership is a core component of the teachings of Job’s Daughters International. Our girls learn how to speak publicly, run a meeting and manage a group of people. We encourage our members to assert themselves as leaders outside of the Bethel room.

All-girl environments, like Job’s Daughters and Girl Scouts, can boost girls’ self-esteem. Girls feel safe to be themselves and take risks in front of their peers. However, girls will not always be in an all-female environment. Organizational activities allow girls to practice leadership activities, but we need to make sure our girls are continuing to lead in their everyday lives.

Ban Bossy gives adult leaders activities and actions to encourage girls to practice their leadership skills. One way girls can practice is by speaking up in class. Some girls don’t speak up unless they are 100 percent sure they are right, for fear of being wrong. Encourage your girls to speak up and let them know there is no harm in being wrong. We learn from our mistakes.

Another way we can encourage our girls to lead is by showing them how they can change the world. Girls don’t have to wait to make a difference, they can start now. Ask them to brainstorm ways that they can do something good for their community. Girls can run for class president, plan a fundraising event or volunteer at a retirement community.

As role models, we lead by example. We have the privilege of seeing the next generation of leaders find themselves and their confidence. They look to us as some of their earliest examples of strong female leaders, so we need to act like it. We must be conscious of how we speak about ourselves and others.

Through our actions and encouragement, we can help our girls know they can do anything, inside or outside the Bethel.