Thank you to Girl Scouts for sponsoring this post on the importance of building leadership skills in our daughters.
We have more women in college, and more women earning degrees than men. However, the 80-90% of leadership roles are still held by men, depending upon the industry (source). Why do you think that is?
As a mom of two girls, it's definitely in the forefront of my mind. While I don't believe in pushing my girls down any particular career or life path, I do want them to have every option open to them.
We are always encouraging them to try new things, and to take risks to uncover new passions. We homeschool so they have every opportunity to discover and follow their passions in life.
If they want to be in a leadership role, they will be armed with those skills! One organization we got involved with to further their leadership skills is Girl Scouts.
I was a Girl Scout myself for 5 years, and found it to have a tremendous impact in who I am today. For real. Girls Scouts was a ton of fun, but it was a real growth factor in my life.
In fact, it was a Girl Scout camp counselor who first sparked my interest in the environment. If it weren't for the Girl Scouts, I may never have encouraged my parents to recycle as a kid. I may never have organized trash cleanups with the other neighborhood kids.
And I don't think I would have developed the love for nature in general that I have today. Our troop leaders were a real inspiration and taught us so much about camping and the outdoors.
They even took all of us girls camping in Catalina one year. We worked hard and saved for that amazing trip!
And I may not have become a blogger with a strong focus on spreading the word on how to better take care of the environment (and our own personal health). It's pretty fascinating to think of how many doors opened for me because of the things I learned as a Girl Scout.
So when my girls had the opportunity to join Girl Scouts, we went all in! Our first year was a little wobbly since we were a new troop, but it was still a lot of fun.
The biggest highlight for me was cookie season! I was really hesitant about participating in cookie sales at first since Girl Scout cookies don't really have the cleanest ingredients.
However, I decided that people were going to buy Girl Scout cookies anyhow. So they might as well buy them from my daughters and support our local troop.
From the very first day, I knew it was the right decision! Over the course of cookie season, I watched my girls grow in ways that I couldn't have imagined!
My husband and I are both very entrepreneurial. I guess that we set a good example because they both worked so incredibly hard to be the top sellers in their troop – and they were! They each sold about 760 boxes of cookies, and they wanted to keep going.
Next year, they want to be the top sellers in the region. We're already talking about how to make that happen for them. I'll be there to support them every step of the way. I think one of the best ways to lead is by example, so if they're willing to get out there and work, I'll be by their sides.
Watching them interact with customers at cookie booths was so inspiring. They both took charge, made sure their customers had everything they needed and they did it all with a smile on their faces – even during snowstorms!
When one of the troop leaders moved out of state this summer, I stepped up to be the troop co-leader. I was simply so impressed with how much my girls grew in one year, that I knew I couldn't let the troop fade away. So, this year, I am a co-leader of my daughters' Girl Scout troop!
I'll be honest. I'm a little nervous about leading all of these little girls on this journey. It's such an important one, and I want to be able to inspire them all to know they can do anything they set their minds too.
After all, they all have G.I.R.L. potential as Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers & Leaders! Even if they don't know it yet. We just have to help them become aware of their full potential. It only takes one person to inspire another, and we can all help change the world.
Girl Scouts is truly a wonderful organization to help our daughters develop leadership skills they can carry into the future. Did you know that 50% of female business leaders, 80% of female tech leaders, 76% of female U.S. Senators and 100% of female Secretaries of State were Girl Scouts? Pretty impressive.
If you have girls and you want them to develop leadership skills in their, consider having them join a Girl Scout troop. If there isn't one open near you, consider leading your own troop! Then your girls will really see you walk the talk.
So I challenge you. What will you do today to teach your daughter how to become a leader? How will you help guide other girls to discover their leadership skills?
For us, it's Girl Scouts. Me as a Leader. And my daughters as a Brownie and Junior this year. One day maybe they'll take the leap of faith and lead their daughters on the path to leadership too.