“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Lucy P. Marcus, CEO and Non-Exec Board Director of Project Syndicate and BBC, believes this and has written an empowering article about how we can help develop women into leaders, and the five essentials in doing so.
There is power in believing you can do something, but there is more power in actually putting effort towards that something. Marcus emphasizes the importance of starting, saying, “We need to start early to make sure girls know they are capable of reaching great heights.” At 1girl, we believe that starting at a young age is important, too. That’s why our program is aimed towards girls at the middle school level with students who range from 5-8th grade.
Many young girls and women believe that they can be leaders, but society doesn’t believe that women can hold leadership positions, causing a lack of confidence in women. The doubt in society, mixed with the lack of confidence and feeling of having to prove themselves, is prohibiting women from building upon the skills that they have.
“We need to ensure that young women have access to building these skills that help them move to success early in their careers,” says Marcus. Having a foundation and a building block for these young girls to start is vitally important. We want to provide that kind of security and foundation, and we are providing access to this skill building at 1girl.
After giving access to these girls to help build their skills, we must continue to encourage them. It is common for a woman in a leadership position or who has had much success to accredit someone else because of the belief that a woman can never get to the top on her own. We can eliminate this belief by bringing attention to women and all of the hard work that often goes unnoticed.
“It is vital to openly and publicly acknowledge and celebrate the work that women leaders do around the world, “ says Marcus. Young girls and women need a role model and support system, both in the media and at home. Our college women facilitators at 1girl serve as role models to our girls, and they are continuing to encourage our girls to be great leaders and the moving force of present and future generations.