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8 Is the Peak Age For Girls’ Leadership Ambitions

May 18, 2012

There are a lot of startling statistics in this video from Miss Representation. For me, the mother of a brilliant and precocious 7 year-old girl, the fact that devastates me is this:  44% of 8 year-old girls have ambitions of leadership — and that’s the peak, the percentage drops as time goes by. Why? You can’t be what you can’t see. To harbor an ambition, you need to be able to visualize that future. Examples and role models go a long way toward that end. What have girls today got as examples?

The percentages of leadership positions held by American women in various fields:

  • Business – 16%
  • Academia – 23%
  • Film & TV – 16%
  • Law – 18%
  • The Military – 11%
  • Sports – 21%
  • Non-Profits – 21%
  • Politics – 17%

(Remember: women make up 50.9% of the US population. )

There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is a long history of discrimination. But other factors exist, and the media is a primary source of the problem. It pains me, and I hope it does you, that the average American girl is so beaten down by the time she’s a teenager, that she’s more concerned with being skinny than with achieving her full potential and gaining a seat at the table.

Watch the video, “Cause and Effect”:

 

 

If that got to you like it should – go here to find a screening of the Miss Representation movie in your area.

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