From Brownies to the Boardroom

  • By:  Marcy Germanotta

Learn how Girl Scouts is shaping our country’s political future.

It’s that time of year again, time when those sweet Brownies—not the kind you munch on but the ones with toothy grins—come knocking on your door. Girl Scout Cookies are as American as apple pie and just as tasty. As someone who has spent several decades as a member of the movement, I’ve got to admit I love this time of year, and I love what it supports, such as strong leadership.

Just look at what happened this fall to get an idea of how Girl Scouts impact leadership. Women, and I dare say Girl Scouts, made history on Election Day this year. More women ran for office than ever before. More women were elected to office! And they all had something in common. Girl Scouts! From the youngest woman ever elected to Congress to the first women of color to be elected congresswomen, these are the Girl Scout alums who have broken barriers in 2018’s midterm elections.

It’s no coincidence that this happened. Girl Scouts use their determination to lead every day in the fight for a clean environment, racial and gender equality, safety issues, local concerns, and so much more. And leadership is why the effect of Girl Scouts remains so long after a girl leaves her troop meetings behind and moves on in the world. While women represent only 6 percent of CEOs in our country’s biggest companies, 80 percent of all women business owners were Girl Scouts and more than 70 percent of women in Congress today were Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts’ focus has always been and always will be girls. Based on research findings, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to participate in healthy activities, including exercise and eating right; leadership roles when working in a group; community service efforts, like volunteering; money management, such as knowing how to spend and save; and STEM activities, from science experiments to building robots. Girl Scouts understands the value of programs designed specifically for girls, delivered in an all-girl environment.

Best of all, the Girl Scout program is girl-led. No matter what they choose—from building robots or filmmaking to rock climbing or cooking, they make the decision and we help them get there. Yeah, there are a lot of choices out there for parents and girls, but the right choice when it comes to building leadership skills is still one where there is an all-girl space.

Girl Scouts has been focused on dispelling gender stereotypes and creating all-girl spaces for girls to learn and grow for more than 106 years. Girls gain confidence, seek challenges, become active decision-makers and proficient problem-solvers, thanks to Girl Scouts’ commitment to girls. And because of that commitment, we believe more women are either in leadership positions or stepping up to leadership. Equipping girls with the tools they need to become leaders who can face any challenge is in our Girl Scout DNA—from the wilderness to the living room to the boardroom!

For a list of Congresswomen and senators who are Girl Scouts, visit blog.girlscouts.org/2018/11/the-girl-scout-alums-who-broke-barriers.html

For more information, visit www.gsccc.org or call 757-547-4405.

Marcy Germanotta is communications director for Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast.

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