BUFFALO, N.Y (WKBW-TV) Cindy Odom, CEO for Girl Scouts of Western New York says women in leadership statistics are startling.
“Only 18% are in the U.S. Congress and of those 61% were Girl Scouts,” she explains.
Odom also pointed out that women own only 4% of Fortune 500 companies. In hopes to encourage more women leaders, Girl Scouts has teamed up with Lean In to ban the word “bossy.”
“It really discourages girls from leading. Whether it's at the home, at school or as an adult in the workplace,” says Odom.
Current Senior Girl Scout, Azia, says she was once called bossy and it didn’t feel good.
"When we do projects (in school) they’ll call me bossy because I like to take charge. I just want my voice to be heard,” she says.
Like many other girls do, but get discouraged after being called the “B” word. Azia didn’t let it cripple her attitude or impede upon her future success.
“I'm a mentor for the daisies, the youngest girls that we have for girl scouts. I’m also a pathfinder, which helps transition freshman from the middle school to the high school,” said Azia.
Girl Scouts has been mentoring young women for more than 100 years. Many current troop leaders were former girl scouts and now have successful careers.
“I’m a corporate lawyer,” said Christine Bonaguide.
She credits girl scouts for giving her the confidence to pursue her dreams and believe in herself.
“It has given me the confidence to know that I can try new things and lead groups of people or be part of a team if I have to,” says Bonaguide.
Odom, Bonaguide and Azia all agree than banning the word bossy is the beginning of ending it’s impact on young girls.
“It stops courageous action and leadership,” says Odom. “The campaign is important because women leadership is important.”