#BANBOSSY: I'm not bossy, I'm the boss.

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You may (or may not) be aware of the media buzz surrounding the recent Ban Bossy campaign - It's a movement started by Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In organisation, to inspire girls to abandon gender stereotypes and not be afraid to lead. Ban Bossy's message is: 'When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a "leader." Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded "bossy." Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys-a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead'. The campaign has gained masses of attention on social media and has been helped along by some particularly famous faces. The new video stars inspirational women such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner, Condoleezza Rice and Diane Von Furstenberg, who all pledge to #BanBossy.

 

 

OUR FOUNDER, NANCY CRUICKSHANK HAS HER OWN THOUGHTS ...

Women are nurturers and men are leaders, right? Uh, not necessarily! The damaging results of characterising female leadership as bossy and unwomanly is without doubt one of the key contributors to the far lower ratios of women to men on management teams and in boardrooms around the globe. Sandberg's campaign to 'ban bossy' is a laudable step in raising awareness and attempting to address this insane preconception.

Levelling the playing field to make it possible for more women to get to the top would be an awesome outcome for many. Perhaps levelling the field for more men to be able to choose to stay home and raise the kids (without raising everyone's eyebrows) might also be a necessary outcome of this campaign?

Whatever the outcome, let's be mindful about choice. Ban bossy can't make women who choose to 'lean out' feel inadequate. Let's focus on creating options & a lack of judgement on the choices that we all make. Flexible working, leaning in or out - we all need to support the right to choose and create as many options as possible to harness women in the workforce positively & productively as the talent out there is phenomenal & powerful!