Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg and her nonprofit Lean In, created to inspire and empower girls and women, get behind a new initiative, “Ban Bossy,” that takes on the gender stereotypes. The effort, launched in partnership with the Girl Scouts, criticizes the word “bossy” related to girls who are ambitious and assertive, and want to develop their leadership skills to achieve more in their life.
The initiative rolls out on the dedicated website that features stories and quotes from female role models, influential women including Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, Jane Lynch, Diane von Furstenberg, Condoleezza Rice, and more. The site also features tips for girls, parents and teachers as well as for managers and troop leaders.
“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’ Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead,” says the site of the initiative.
The site encourages users to pledge to ban the word “bossy,” and also share the message in the form of vivid illustrations with theme-related facts across the popular social media platforms.
“We need to recognize the many ways we systematically discourage leadership in girls from a young age— and instead, we need to encourage them,” commented Sheryl Sandberg on the launch of the effort. “So the next time you have the urge to call your little girl bossy? Take a deep breath and praise her leadership skills instead.”
Earlier, Lean In partnered with Getty Images to extend the photo bank with imagery that portray women without sexist implications.