Monday, December 21, 2009

Girls View Leadership as Taking a Stand

In meeting with Rusine Sinclair, CEO of the North Carolina Girl Scouts Council, she shared with me that she believes young women are concerned about making a difference in the world. They are interested in something that would improve a situation. They are defining those things that are important to them and using the leadership from within to improve things in their world.

This stuck with me and motivated me to learn how many girls actually want to be leaders. According to a nationwide survey, conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI), they found that thirty-nine percent of girls want to be leaders, and that the desire for leadership is higher among African-American (fifty-three percent), Hispanic (fifty percent) and Asian-American (fifty-nine percent) girls compared to Caucasian girls (thirty-four percent).

Victor Inzunza, author of the press release titled, “Nationwide Study Finds That Girls Aspire to a Different Kind of Leadership,” reported that the data from the survey indicates girls aspire to a different type of leadership, which focuses on personal principles, ethical behavior, and the ability to affect social change. The young women I met from McNeil High School during my research on “Young Women and Leadership” also echoed that they believe leadership for them means taking a stand and making a difference. All of the young women agreed that a leader is a person who is not afraid to step up, blaze a new path for change, and teach individuals.

How inspiring!

 -CJ Harris

Carlena "CJ" Harris joined IBM in June 1997 and has held various roles within the IBM Software Group division. She has eight years of experience leading and managing virtual teams. Currently, she is a Global IT Program Manager. She holds degrees from University of Houston (Information Systems Technology, BS) and St. Edward's University (Organizational Leadership & Ethics, MS). CJ volunteers as a motivational speaker and life/career coach. She is also a wife, mother of two, coach, mentor and an aspiring writer.

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