The Chronicle Herald has a great article about helping young women in Canada achieve leadership roles. The article’s writer, President of Cape Breton University, emphasizes the need to encourage female leadership during high school:
Studies have demonstrated that issues of self-esteem for young females become increasingly prevalent upon their entry to junior high school. Their male counterparts certainly are struggling with their own adolescent matters, and this is not to be overlooked, but young women need to be reached, now, in a manner that is focused on personal growth and healthy development.
It is not good enough to wait until these young women enrol in our universities.
Universities can, and must, share sound theoretical knowledge and experiential learning practices with school educators and young women themselves, to foster the development of personal philosophies of leadership that contribute to healthy and productive lives. While women have come to occupy some outstanding positions in this region and country, there are simply not enough believing in themselves at a young enough age, not enough who visualize themselves as vibrant leaders in society.
Universities can support and offer education, mentoring and training for young women long before they enter our classrooms for post-secondary programs.
We need to work with school boards, administrators and teachers as they develop leadership strategies that will allow young women to enhance their self-awareness and make healthy lifestyle choices.
Collaboration with mentors who believe in innovative approaches to learning, health and education will also lead to stimulating and meaningful results directly linked to self-discovery and self-development which will strengthen our universities.
Great ideas! I agree that young women of the high school age can often have a difficult time developing self-esteem and self-concepts that allow them to visualize themselves as leaders. Thoughts?