Condoleezza Rice, Sheryl Sandberg and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez: Let’s Ban Bossy
By Lynn Sherr
Article taken from Parade
This powerful trio, who on the cover of Parade sport their “Ban Bossy” buttons, aim to change the conversation about girls and leadership. Ninth grader Sheryl Sandberg wasn’t shy about raising her voice. But the message she got from a faculty adviser didn’t praise that trait. “She’s too aggressive, too bossy,” the teacher said. “You don’t want to be bossy.”
Luckily, Sandberg didn’t listen. One year after the publication of her best-selling book Lean In, the Facebook COO, 44, joins with two of America’s most dynamic leaders, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, 59, and Anna Maria Chávez, 45, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, to launch a public service campaign. Their goal? To ban the word bossy, a negative label they say is too often applied to young girls, and one of the many ways they are discouraged from speaking up.
Read excerpts from their conversation with Parade and be sure to check out the full story in this weekend’s issue.
How they were encouraged to achieve in their careers.
Condoleezza Rice: “My parents elected me president of the family when I was 4. … I would call meetings where we’d decide things like what color to paint the living room. As I got older, I realized that what my parents were doing was sending messages about leadership potential.”
Anna Maria Chávez: “Instead of teaching me how to cook, my mother taught my brothers how to cook, and me how to run a board meeting.”
Sheryl Sandberg: “I, too, had supportive parents who told me I could do everything. But the rest of the messages I got from society were pretty negative on leadership.”
Would a female president help change the status quo?
CR: “I think it would be terrific. I really look forward to that day.”
SS: “I’d vote for Condi!”
CR: “Well, thanks, but you’re not going to get that chance. It is important, though, that women are inside the central committees of our party leadership—that they run for statehouse, for Congress. There is an expected road into [the presidency].”
Are girls today ready?
SS: “Women still represent only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs. And more worrisome is that the number has been stagnant for a decade. What hasn’t changed fast enough is our acceptance and encouragement of female leadership. That goes for all of us—parents, teachers, managers, society, everyone.”
AMC: “They are ready to lead. I see girls lobbying town hall to build a safer crosswalk for their elementary school. My world, when I was a kid, was my backyard. Their world is the globe. It’s time.”
For more ideas from this powerful trio on how to empower girls everywhere, see Sunday’s Parade, or go to Parade.com.