By: Robynn Garfield, KSL
A new movement created by prominent businesswomen aims to change the way we use the word “bossy.”
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently spoke with ABCNews
about how the word bossy has become a negative way of saying a young girl has leadership qualities.
“We call girls bossy on the playground," Sandberg told ABC. "We call them too aggressive or other B-words in the workplace. They're bossy as little girls, and then they're aggressive, political, shrill, too ambitious as women."
Sandberg is the founder of an organization called “Lean In.” Her foundation, along with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Girl Scouts USA, has launched a new public campaign called “Ban Bossy
“When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a ‘leader.' Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy,' ” the campaign's website says.
Sandberg said she wants to make sure the message of the campaign is clear when it comes to what it means for girls to assert themselves.
"Leadership is not bullying and leadership is not aggression," Sandberg said. "Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good. That you can make the world a better place."
Maria Chavez is the CEO of Girl Scouts USA. When she heard of Sandberg's campaign, she said she knew immediately she needed to become involved.
"Imagine a classroom in America where 50 kids are present: 25 girls, 25 boys," Chavez told ABCNews.
"And the teacher walks into this classroom and says: 'Boys and girls, I have this really hard, difficult problem that I need to solve that's gonna impact this country,' ” Chavez said. "She writes the problem on the board and then turns around and escorts 24 of the 25 girls out of the room.
"She leaves one girl and 25 boys to solve that equation. That's what's happening every day in this country," Chavez said. "Why wouldn't we want more girls to be opting in to building the right solutions in this country."
Ban Bossy's website
offers leadership tips for parents of daughters and offers a link for people to “Pledge to Ban Bossy.”
"This is a word that is symbolic of systemic discouragement of girls to lead," Sandberg said. "We are not just talking about getting rid of a word, even though we want to get rid of a word. We're talking about getting rid of the negative messages that hold our daughters back."
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