The Ban Bossy campaign is launched by Sheryl Sandberg, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez. The campaign aims to ban the word “bossy,” arguing the negative put-down stops girls from pursuing leadership roles. Sandberg says:
We know that by middle school, more boys than girls want to lead, and if you ask girls why they don’t want to lead, whether it’s the school project all the way on to running for office, they don’t want to be called bossy, and they don’t want to be disliked.
Sandberg said these attitudes begin early and continue into adulthood.
We call girls bossy on the playground. We call them too aggressive or other B-words in the workplace. They’re bossy as little girls, and then they’re aggressive, political, shrill, too ambitious as women. I was called bossy when I was in ninth grade. My teacher took my best friend Mindy aside and she said, ‘You shouldn’t be friends with Sheryl. She’s bossy.’ And that hurt.”
The banbossy.com website gives tips for parents, kids, teachers and others about how to encourage young female leaders.