We are honored to have recently completed a quick design project for Making Caring Common, a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Leaning Out is an enlightening report on the implicit and explicit biases that create obstacles for girls pursuing leadership positions.
The report calls attention to how mothers, fathers, boys, and girls perceive young women with the potential for high levels of success, and roles of leadership. This perception, effects the ability of girls to command respect in roles historically dominated by men.
Manipulative and detrimental biases of some teens label girls as mean, as drama queens, and having little self-esteem. These unfounded biases undercut the potential of an entire group of individuals and create a glut of untapped resources. The irony of these biases is, that girls are also characterized as more likely than men to have desirable leadership skills including honesty and organization.
The report is worth a read, and has great potential to positively influence parents and teachers through it’s thoughtful findings and its helpful tool kits. My hope is that these discoveries and call to action, will help inspire girls to become women who plow through the stereotypes and biases to be the incredible leaders they have the potential to be.