Congress, Girl Scouts, Look to Empower Next Generation of Female Leaders

On Tuesday, April 28th, members of Congress will get a rare glimpse into the evolving perceptions of girls’ leadership during a conversation on “What Girls Say about Leadership: Empowering the Next Generation of Female Leaders.” The dialogue will be hosted by the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA).

The decision to convene a meeting between policymakers and the Girl Scouts was sparked by a recent study released by Girl Scout Research Institute which found that the presidential election, and the intense campaign season that preceded it, generated an unprecedented level of interest in civic engagement in young people. During Tuesday’s meeting, participants will take a close look at how girls view the concept of leadership and their role as future leaders.

“As a result of this dialogue on girls’ leadership, we hope that policymakers will have a shared understanding of how this generation of girls understands leadership and the barriers they face to achieving their leadership potential,” said Laurie Westley, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Advocacy, and the Research Institute, GSUSA. “America’s girls need more support to become the leaders they aspire to be and the leaders our nation needs. This meeting offers an opportunity to explore this important topic.”

“Research with girls across the country demonstrates that the current notion of leadership as command and control often does not resonate with girls. Girls are redefining leadership to be connected to making a difference in the world—and are asking for support from adults to do the same,” said Judy Schoenberg, Director, Research and Outreach, GSUSA.

Congressional members will be addressed by Connie Lindsey, GSUSA National Board Chair; representatives from GSRI and several girls from the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capitol council who will share their insights on their leadership experiences and goals.

When questioned about her reasons for wanting to be a leader, a 9th grade Girl Scout from Atlanta remarked, “I want to be a leader for girls everywhere because lately I haven’t seen a single role model out in the world that I can look up to…”

Immediately following the briefing, new female members of Congress will be inducted into Troop Capitol Hill, an honorary Congressional Girl Scout troop open to all Congresswomen.

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