Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced the launch of ToGetHerThere, a multiyear effort which will seek to create balanced leadership-the equal representation of women in leadership positions in all sectors and levels of society-within one generation.
A comprehensive new research study, ToGetHerThere: Girls' Insights on Leadership, commissioned by GSUSA in partnership with GfK Roper, reveals that while girls are generally optimistic about their futures, they still see glass ceilings in today's society that will get in teh way of achieving their leadership potential. The study, based on a telephone survey of 1,000 girls ages 8-17, found for example that close to three in five girls think that a woman can rise up in a company but will only rarely be put in a senior leaderhsip role. Additionally, more than one-third of girls say they wouldn't feel comfortable trying to be a leader, and almost 40 percent are not sure they're cut out to be a leader.
"It is abundantly clear that our girls have a vision of their leadership potential that is incompatible with what we know they can achieve," says Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. "The ToGetHerThere campaign is the launch of a cause to impact our girls now, so that we can inspire them to achieve leadership roles in all aspects of society."
The ToGetHerThere cause formally begins the work of breaking down the barriers that are keeping girls from reaching their potential as leaders. Teh cause will seek to motivate all adults members of society-individuals, corporations, governmetns and likeminded organizations-to do their part to support girls. Further the cause will place this issue front and center on the national agenda. Adults who want to support the cause can visit www.ToGetHerThere.org for tools on how to be a part of this important movement.
Obstacles to Leadership from a Girl's Point of View
A crucial reason for girls' distorted outlook on leadership may have something to do with their perception of environments as unsupportive of women leaders. The ToGetHerThere study noted that 81 percent of girls believe the workplace could do a better job of meeting the needs of female employees, and the majority of girls believe family responsibilities weigh women down more than men as they attempt to advance in their careers.
Our Girl Scout Research Institute found that while the majority of girls think anyone can acquire the skills of leadership, only 21 percent believe they currently have most of the key qualities required to be a good leader. This may cause girls to opt out," says Connie Lindsey, National President, Girl Scouts of the USA. "Negative influences such as stress, fear of speaking in front of others, appearing bossy, and peer pressure may cause girls to simply disengage from assuming leadership roles. We need to change that, and ToGetHerThere is a bold step in the right direction."
Contact: Katherine Lambert