My mom came to New York City to visit for the weekend and brought with her a bunch of old photos, including one of me in the fourth grade wearing my Girl Scout uniform.
I look really ticked off because I think I was mad at my dad for some reason. Let it be known the expression I have in the picture does not reflect my enthusiasm for my years of scouting.
In fact, I really loved being a Girl Scout and was really honored when I was asked to deliver the keynote speech at their annual convention in Houston, Texas. It was there in November that I learned about the organization’s “Year of the Girl” initiative and the “To Get Her There” campaign.
Beginning January 31, Girl Scouts of the USA will begin these programs to raise awareness about the leadership gap that exists between men and women in positions of authority across most industries and sectors. For example, just 3% of CEOs are women and just 17% of Congress.
Women in business and government have come a long way since I took the Girl Scout pledge, and maybe, to quote “Dirty Dancing,” nobody puts baby in a corner anymore — or calls us “baby” for that matter. But as a society we’ve also been slow to put women in corner offices.
Girl Scouts isn’t unique in undertaking this endeavor. There are many other organizations that are seeking to empower the girls of today to become the leaders of tomorrow. But the new CEO of Girl Scouts USA, Anna Maria Chavez, who is the first Latina to head the organization, told me that Girl Scouts are uniquely positioned for this goal. After all, most women business leaders and 11 of the 17 women in the U.S. Senate were scouts.
I met with a troop of girls from Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice in Philadelphia, all of whom shared with me their dreams for the future. One wanted to be an obstetrician, another said she’d like to work for Apple and help develop the latest tech gadgets. Girl Scouts is helping “to get them there,” as the slogan suggests.
Tomorrow morning I’ll be on “Good Morning America” to talk a bit more about it and introduce you to some of the girls I met along the way. See you in the morning!
Tweet me your thoughts @katiecouric.