GirlScouts of Orange County reports that nearly 150 Orange County business and community leaders came together recently for a lively discussion on the strategic case for women’s leadership. Voice for Girls 2013, hosted by Girl Scouts of Orange County and sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, featured a keynote address by acclaimed author and leadership expert Sally Helgesen, an interactive panel with Orange County girls, and voices of local leaders.
This is the second year that Girl Scouts has hosted Voice for Girls to rally the community around the support for girls and their leadership potential. This year’s event honed in on the unique strengths women bring to the workplace and why those strengths are critical to the success of today’s organizations.
Five Orange County Girl Scouts participated in an interactive panel, sharing with Orange County business leaders how they are already using skills like building and leveraging relationships, organization, and goal-setting to make a difference in their community. Urmila Janardan, a 12th grade Girl Scout, is working to bring back the journalism program at Trabuco Hills High School. She found that the school newspaper brought her community together, and she recruited other students, lobbied the school administration, and found a teacher interested in teaching the journalism class. Although Urmila won’t be at Trabuco Hills High School next year to participate in the program because she’ll be attending UCLA as a freshman in the fall, she is committed to bringing the program back because she believes it’s critical for students approaching voting age to be able to express their thoughts and concerns about the world around them.
After the panel, the girls posed questions to Orange County leaders to glean insight into the local leadership landscape. Business and community leaders then had the opportunity to ask questions of the future leaders and learn more about what they need to be successful in the workplace. The girls shared their perspectives on everything from education (girls need more opportunities to explore STEM fields) to their personal challenges with taking on leadership roles.