Empowering Girls to Lead by Banning the Word 'Bossy'

Sheryl Sandberg launches a campaign and a PSA to encourage girls to excel.
3:00 | 03/11/14

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Transcript for Empowering Girls to Lead by Banning the Word 'Bossy'
And next, here, tonight, a powerful group of people, rock stars, actors, executives, moms and dads, are uniting against the negative force of a word. It is a word that can take hold in grade school and crack confidence and dreams for a girl. That word is bossy. And "Nightline" anchor, Cynthia Mcfadden, reports on the uprising, tonight. Reporter: From beyonce. I'm not bossy. I'm the boss. Reporter: To an array of celebrities. Today, a campaign is being launched to ban a word surprising in its power. Bossy. Spearheading the effort, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook C.O.O. And Disney board member, the parent of ABC news. This is the other "B" word. We call girls bossy on the playground. We then call them too aggressive or other "B" words in the workplace. Reporter: The idea to ban bossy grew out of her book, "Lean in." She's joined by the head of the girl scouts, Anna maria Chavez. We know that more boys than girls want to lead. And if you ask girls why they don't want to do it. They don't want to be disliked and they don't want to be called bossy. Reporter: Raise your hand if anyone has ever called you bossy? We saw that play out with this group of first grade girls at the hunter school in New York City. So, what's more important? To be liked? Or to be a leader? To be liked. If you're a leader, your friends will get mad at you. And they don't want to be your friend anymore. Reporter: In fact, research shows a direct link. A third of the girls who do not want to be leaders say it's because they fear being called bossy or being disliked by their peers. I was called bossy when I was in ninth grade. My teacher took my best friend aside and said you shouldn't be friends with her because she's bossy. And that hurt. Reporter: She overcame it. Many don't. We are 5% the fortune 500 CEOs. We are 17% of the board seats. We are 19% of the U.S. Congress. That's not enough for 50% of the population. If you paid women as much as men, we'd cut the poverty rate for this nation's children in half. Reporter: Do you really think you can change 77 cents on the dollar by banning bossy? We think it all goes together. Reporter: Sandberg hopes that by banning bossy, little girls will have one less obstacle to overcome. And more of Cynthia's reporting tonight on "Nightline."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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