Exploring Girls’ Leadership (2007)

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Girl Scout Research Institute

GSRI’s review analyzes literature from the youth development and youth leadership fields and examines lingering contrasts between youth realities and community approaches to leadership. It also suggests untapped areas for further study, such as the gap in aspirations in girls who see themselves as leaders today but don’t necessarily aspire to leadership roles as adults.

The review also presents findings from a small online survey and focus groups with hundreds of girls around the country which show that, for girls, “leadership is about the qualities one has, rather than about a specific role or function,” and that leadership is often viewed as a means to make a difference in the world.

The findings suggest that girls have a unique definition of leadership that emphasizes developing personal strength and interpersonal skills, including a positive attitude, listening skills and confidence. Free. 30 pages. (800) 478-7248, http://www.girlscouts.org/research/publications/original/exploring_girls_leadership.pdf.