By Annalies Corbin, President and CEO – Chief Goddess
PAST launched the Girls Who Lead (#GirlsWhoLead) project on Thursday, January 19, 2017 as a mechanism to provide a platform for empowering the lives of the next generation of leaders in an ever-evolving global society. We are often asked, “Why Girls Who Lead” and not “Kids Who Lead” or “Boys and Girls Who Lead”? We took these questions seriously and had numerous discussions that probed the WHY. If the purpose of GWL is to empower future leadership, enhance career exploration and emphasize the need for diversity and inclusion, then why limit the effort by singling out girls?
Because girls represent half of the future and they have been marginalized sometimes intentionally and sometime unintentionally. Our project does not exclude boys but rather includes girls. If we can change the global statistics we will positively impact all people. By elevating the experience, opportunity, and accessibility of girls and young woman, we will also change the course of lives and history of boys, young men, our LGBTQ communities, those living in poverty, in war zones, in third world countries, those fighting for freedom, for equality, equity and inclusion.
The PAST Girls Who Lead project is not political. But it is about politics, religious freedom, voting rights, gender equity, employment practices, and most of all opportunity. The list of positive impacts that can come from changing the lives and experiences of 49.55%¹ of the earth’s population should not be underestimated. Current statistics tell a story of missed opportunity. By failing to ensure gender balance in every aspect of our daily lives and work we are only using a fraction of what’s intellectually and socially possible. Imagine the difference in our collective futures if every voice were lent to solving problems, innovation, and discovery.
So, one year ago we launched Girls Who Lead – a project that elevates the potential and experience of all. GWL provides positive role models and mentoring, access to opportunities and experiences, exposure to career choices, and collective dialogues between men and women — boys and girls. By creating a series of podcasts, videos, in-school and out-of-school experiences, summer programs, internships, interviews and more – the Girls Who Lead project aims to create a self-propagating and sustaining collection of positive experiences, advice and role models that promote new ways of thinking about our future. And encourage others to share their stories!
Girls Who Lead is one of many global efforts taking place right now. It does not matter, which effort you embrace as an individual, a company, a school, or a community – just get involved. Be a change maker that values all of our future. Every voice, every person, every effort will make a difference. Join the movement!