Ban Bossy(ness)

Recently, you may have heard something about a new movement called Ban Bossy. The goal of Ban Bossy and its organizers – Rachel Simmons (author and cofounder of the Girls Leadership Institute), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s, and the Girl Scouts – is to empower girls to lead by eliminating the stigma of the bossy girl label. Evidently girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles will make them seem “bossy,” and girls see their self-esteem fall 3.5 times more than boys do as they grow up (measured in Universal Self-Esteem Units, or something). Ban Bossy feels that the language and labels we encounter in our schools, society, and culture greatly contribute to the very real dearth of women in leadership roles – from CEOs to Senators. From the materials on their website:

banbossy“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’”


“For example, calling a girl ‘bossy’ – a word we rarely use for boys – sends a message that girls should not speak up.”

As a man, and as a father of two daughters (and sons), I find this program particularly inspiring. In particular, it inspires me to say:

Huh? Continue reading