Every day, more women and girls are stepping up and taking on leadership challenges. They’ve been motivated and encouraged by movements like #MeToo, #TimesUp, and the Women’s March to get out in the streets and into elected politics. This is a time of rapid transition. People of all genders are figuring out who they’ll be and how they’ll live in that new world. In the process, we’re trying to prepare the next generation to do the same.
More importantly, we’re overturning the old ideas and recognizing that it’s not enough just to “look like a lady and act like a man.
If we’re going to be happy, healthy and effective leaders, we all need to bring our experiences, personalities and values to the table. We need to be authentic and learn how to work with people who don’t look or think like we do.
We have the opportunity today to shape the leadership we want to see tomorrow. We can help young people prepare to take their place at the table and make sure their voices are heard. In order to navigate the demands of leadership in a complex and changing world, they’ll need a toolkit:
- respect and stand up for themselves
- develop awareness of their strengths and weaknesses
- take responsibility for their actions
- have empathy for others
- think critically
- communicate skillfully
- embrace and learn from their mistakes
- build their networks
- support each other
- stay true to their values
Spice! Leadership helps girls build that toolkit. It’s a program for girls that combines leadership skills and life lessons with creativity, games, and mindfulness exercises. We focus on those crucial years between 10 and 14 years of age, when girls are developing their self-image and their opinions, helping them sift through all the noise and focus on what matters to them.
Spice! Leadership summer day camps debut in Kanata and downtown Ottawa this year and there are still a few spaces open. If you know a girl who would benefit from this life-changing experience, or if you’d like to get involved as a mentor, please get in touch with us. Together, we can keep up this momentum and create a better future for our girls!
This article was written by Alex Keenan, Spice! Leadership. The views expressed here don’t necessarily reflect the views members of the Zonta eClub of Canada1 or Zonta International.