Article- Teach girls to be more like boys
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Join Date: Dec 2000
I have all sorts of issues with this article.
1. It places a great deal of value on those who are in charge. I say not true. There is as much value as being a supporter/follower as there is a leader and there's no shame in someone who is great at supporting people who have natural leadership skills. A leader is nothing without those who are following them. IMO there's not enough emphasis on good followship skills, and how to properly recognize and reward those in that role.
2. Girls and women need to know that they are not selling themselves short by not choosing to be a leader in this very narrow definition of leadership, which brings me to my next issue:
3. We need to broaden our definition of leadership. To give an obscene example, Dick Cheney was not the president, but he sure as hell may have been with the amount of power and influence he had. Being a leader is not only about the title, but about your attitude and how you conduct yourself. Those are really the skills which need to be cultivated first and foremost.
4. There is a good deal of ink spilled about the cost of "bossiness" etc. I think that is largely influenced on the financial burdens women face, especially single moms. It's hard to be risky with one's careers or leadership choices if there isn't a good support system. I wonder if women who live in countries where there is a better social safety net are more willing to take leadership risks. Which brings me to my final issue with the article:
5. The article places the blame, and the solutions with individuals - specifically the girls. How about in addition to teaching girls how to be more assertive, they provide classes to instructors, school admins, boys etc on the value of different styles of leadership, the importance of a diverse leadership body etc.? Society needs to take responsibility and change in order to create the environment for female leaders to thrive.