Friday, March 2, 2012

Learning From Leaders

In a piece titled titled Leadership - More Than Just Talk, Anne Gore writes on the the Girl Scouts of Alaska Blog that "leadership is a word we hear a lot in Girl Scouting. For 100 years, Girl Scouts has been helping girls discover, and fulfill, their leadership potential."

In early February, Girl Scouts of the USA launched its Year of the Girl campaign and the "ToGetHerThere" cause -- a multiyear effort to bring attention to and change the fact that too few women serve in leadership positions. One aspect of the campaign encourages learning and talking openly about what holds girls back, as well as what helps them succeed.

Girl Scouts of Alaska recently invited the members of "Troop 49," an honorary Girl Scout troop comprised of Alaska's women legislators, commissioners, and the first lady, to join a small group of Juneau Girl Scouts for a dialogue about women and leadership.

With the help of facilitators Sharon Gaiptman and Sally Saddler, who themselves are successful women leaders in the Juneau community, a lively discussion took place for over an hour.

The legislators began by telling personal stories about what motivated them to run for office. They were then joined by the commissioners as they explained what routes each took to get where they are today.

"In addition to the enthusiasm of the participants, and the heart-felt advice given by the members of Troop 49," writes Gore, "what struck me as most interesting about the conversation was the girls' response to questions about access and opportunity. When asked if girls and boys have equal opportunities to become leaders in our country, every girl in the room agreed without question that yes, girls and boys do have the same opportunities. That was encouraging to hear."