GIRLS WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE GIRLS INC. EXPERIENCE HAVE AN ADVANTAGE OVER THEIR PEERS IN MORE THAN 20 KEY AREAS
Stronger, Smarter, Bolder: Girls Take the Lead is the newly released report from Girls Inc. that takes a comprehensive look at what is needed to ensure girls are prepared to succeed in leadership roles in business, politics, and their communities. The report presents both a wide-ranging analysis of the latest research on the primary factors shaping girls’ lives today, and recommendations for the most crucial supports communities should focus on for girls.
For the first time in history, we can state with certainty that our next generation of leaders will be a generation of women leaders—particularly women leaders of color, many of whom will start out at a socioeconomic disadvantage. This means that more girls, and more girls of color, need to be prepared to step into leadership roles.
The mission of Girls Inc. is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, and a recent impact study from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) finds that Girls Inc. girls have an advantage over their peers in more than 20 key areas, demonstrating that girls not only thrive at Girls Inc., they are also more likely to engage in pursuits and express beliefs that lead to physical and mental wellbeing, academic achievement, and strong character and leadership. In fact, Girls Inc. girls are more likely than other girls to see themselves as leaders, with the skills and capabilities of influencing and improving their local communities.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE
Despite the inherent promise that girls represent, tremendous challenges still stand in their way: obstacles to their physical and socio-emotional well-being, inequities in educational opportunities, and discouragement, even outright suppression, when they try to speak for themselves and others. Girls also face significant barriers when it comes to maximizing their potential to be leaders, whether that is in the corporate boardroom, in government, in journalism, the arts and entertainment, education, sports, or in their own community. At their root, many of these challenges result directly from poverty, bias, health challenges, and trauma.
Girls Inc. works with girls throughout the United States and Canada to address key societal challenges that erode girls’ confidence and ability to reach their full potential. The result is girls who are inspired to lead healthy lives, succeed academically, and advocate for themselves and others.
In the report we look closely at eleven societal hurdles affecting girls today, comprising the primary factors that influence whether a girl will grow up strong, smart, and bold—characteristics that will dictate her future path and success.
THE GIRLS INC. EXPERIENCE
At the heart of Girls Inc. is a comprehensive approach to whole girl development that equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and to grow up healthy, educated, and independent. This approach—the Girls Inc. Experience—is the foundation of Girls Inc. programming. It engages girls in opportunities and activities that develop skills and instill leadership characteristics. In the AIR assessment, the Girls Inc. Experience is shown to make a measurable and marked difference in the lives of girls.
WHY OUR GIRLS SUCCEED
Girls are innately powerful. Impressive girls and young women—Emma Gonzalez, Jazz Jennings, Yara Shahidi, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, and many others—have demonstrated the kind of leadership that girls can provide, once they get the support and experience that helps them make the most of their potential.
So what does it take to create the conditions for girls to become strong leaders? We know that when girls receive the critical supports embedded in the Girls Inc. Experience, they are best equipped to become strong leaders.
Following the rigorous comparison study conducted by AIR, Girls Inc. recommends four crucial supports that allow girls to realize their potential.
THE STRENGTH IN EVERY GIRL
Women have always been about half of the global population, but they have never, until the current generation, had the seat at the table that they deserve. Now that opportunities for leadership are beginning to open to women in unprecedented ways, all girls should be prepared to lead.
The Stronger, Smarter, Bolder: Girls Take the Lead report answers the question, “What can Girls Inc. and other successful youth serving organizations do for girls to allow them to take full advantage of their leadership potential?”
The answer lies in giving girls tools and opportunities. With these key supports, girls change their own circumstances. They change the circumstances of others around them. They change the world.