Girl Scouts Launch Video Series Inspiring Girls To Pursue Leadership Positions


How do you encourage the next generation of female leaders? By giving them representations of what a job in leadership looks like. That is what Girl Scouts of America is doing with their new project called Portraits in Leadership.

Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, USA is the world’s preeminent girl leadership development organization, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide, so it only makes sense they launch an initiative that will give members an accurate portrayal of what leadership looks like, and allow them to take the lead (pun FULLY intended there) with a series of interviews.

The Portraits in Leadership project involves video interviews with Girl Scout members from across the United States, and their representatives from Congress, asking them about their own unique leadership journey, and talking about the skills girls and women will need in order to succeed in the twenty-first century, according to a press release.

Portraits in Leadership is about bringing tomorrow’s female leaders together with those of today, passing on lessons about what it takes to succeed as women leaders in Congress and in life,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of GSUSA. “The future of our nation will require the leadership skills of both men and women for America to retain our competitive advantage and ensure that the American century extends for another 100 years. I believe you can’t be what you can’t see, and offering girls the opportunity to learn directly from today’s female leaders is such an important part of the Girl Scout experience. Portraits in Leadership marks an historic meeting of the minds—it’s one generation of female leaders engaging with and advising the next.”


One of the other awesome campaigns Girl Scouts embarked on in recent times was the popular ‘Ban Bossy’ initiative which saw the likes of tech leader Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce, Jennifer Garner and Anna Maria Chavez team up to reclaim the space for girls leadership. From a young age girls are taught their assertiveness is a negative thing, being called words such as “bossy”, “bitchy”, “dominant” and even “controlling”. Yet the doulbe standards which exists say that men who exhibit the same traits are considered leaders, assertive, aggressive and strong.

Portraits in Leadership aims to capitalize on the importance of showing girls the way at an early stage. Yep, this organization ain’t just about fancy cookies you don’t always want to buy.

In the 113th Congress, 70 percent of the women in the U.S. Senate and 57 percent of the women in the House of Representatives are Girl Scout alumnae; but regardless of whether or not they were Girl Scouts, each Congresswoman spoke of the value of having an organization such as Girl Scouts to help girls develop leadership skills.

We saw in November after the all-important mid-terms that Congress saw an unprecedented amount of women being elected, 100 women now hold seats to be exact, the first time the gals have triple digits!

Girl Scouts from more than 20 congressional districts met with their female representatives, both Republicans and Democrats. Here is the full list of women who were interviewed, which include well-known names such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Nancy Pelosi (first female Speaker of the House), Representative Jan Schakowsky (the woman who pioneered use-by date labels to be mandatory on food in the US), and many more.


It seems the organization is looking for new ways to engage the leaders of tomorrow, as their membership numbers have declined over the last decade. The Girl Scouts today have about 2.2 million youth members, down from nearly 2.9 million 10 years ago, largely because the demographics have changed, reported Al Jazeera in 2013.

They have had to reposition their strategies in accordance with updated data about the ethnic makeup of their members.

” ‘The State of Girls: Unfinished Business’, a report by the Girl Scout Research Institute shows that almost half of girls ages 5 to 17 in the U.S. belong to minorities, up from 38 percent in 2000. They will be in the majority, at 54 percent, by 2030. Latina girls, who made up 16 percent of girls in 2000, are now almost a fourth of the girl population — and are projected to be almost a third by 2030,” wrote Haya El Nasser at Al Jazeera. This report was released on Dec 5, 2013, almost a year ago.

“Although American girls have made giant strides in education — they are more likely to graduate from high school than boys are — the disparities among girls of different races and ethnicities are striking. White girls who are not Hispanic fare much better in reading and math. Eight out of 10 Latina and African-American girls are “below proficient” in reading by fourth grade, compared with 5 out of 10 white girls.”

The research has enabled them to create better targeted projects, and tackle issues such as bullying, health, and education in a more specific and relevant manner. First lady Michelle Obama, a former Girl Scout herself, teamed up with the organization in order to further their demographic reach.

For Girl Scouts members to be able to watch other girls like themselves interview political women of the highest caliber is just one step towards creating better representation. The more the org is able to include women from all different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, the better equipped and more inspired girls will be to take on careers that before seem out of their reach.

Below are a sample of the short videos from the series, which you can see a full playlist of on their Youtube channel.

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  1. Pingback: Social Activist Org 'Radical Brownies' Ushering In A New Era Of Girls In Leadership

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