Posted by: maddielloyd12 | February 20, 2013

Young Women’s Leadership Conference 2-11-13 Post

For the past week or so I have been thinking a lot about when I was a little girl and how the media and other roles of society played a part in my view of leadership. I think that it is important for us all to take into consideration that leadership is shaped by the way we view others and how it is presented to us as we grow up. People have different childhood experiences therefore they are going to have a variety of ways in which they view leadership, especially that for women. As I was growing up, my mother was my role model and support system for everything that I did. She constantly was encouraging me to pursue my dreams, whatever they be, and follow my heart. Her role in the workforce as well as being a strong mother, were two roles that she pursued to her 110% ability. Showing us that hard work provides great success was something that I learned from an early age. Growing up I had the instinct and drive to be a great leader. No matter what I was involved in, I wanted to have an impact on others in a positive way. Most likely my mother’s example in her position as a hard-working employee and dedicated household wife to her kids and husband provided me with this image to be something greater than myself. I had all sorts of opportunities to be a leader whether it was in school activities, projects, or even sports. As middle school came around I invested my time in getting any opportunity I could to help others. One summer I was given the opportunity to attend the Young Women’s Leadership Conference in Richmond, Va. As shown in the video above I was provided a large amount of information based solely for women leaders. Now I don’t mean to rag on about my life and some conference that I attended back when I was 12 years old, but I found it interesting to reflect back on this memory and realize how this one event effected my view of women in leadership. To give you all a little taste of what this conference is about: It is all 100% women only. There are no men whatsoever. This is my frist point mainly because I think that having all women in this position was a perfect setting stone to getting the point across to younger women that it is possible for women to be great leaders without the stereotypical throwbacks. Along with the conference there were women leaders that came from a variety of backgrounds that spoke to us about their experiences in leadership and how they got to the places that they are today. This conference may not seem like a big deal but as a 12-year-old kid, stuck in that awkward stage of middle school (you all know what I’m talking about) it was a crucial moment in my life that made me realize what leadership truly is all about. Leadership isn’t about the color of your skin, or the type of clothes that you wear, or whether or not you are a female or male, but it is about you who are as a person and how your values and beliefs as a leader can help someone else to become a better them. Its difficult knowing that kids are growing up still thinking with these stereotypical views of leadership and not taking for gran the mass amounts of opportunities that are provided to allow us to become the best leaders that we can be. Forget gender for just a second and be you.

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Responses

  1. The leadership conference seems like it was a really awesome experience! I think the middle school age is the perfect time to start teaching girls that they can be leaders too.

    I had a similar experience but mine was after my junior year of highschool. I was selected to attend Virginia Girls State, it was an all girl program where three “prestigious”young ladies were selected to attend from each high school in Virginia. It was a pretty extensive program sponsored by the American Legion Auxilary. I was beyond thrilled when I was chosen to attend. The point of Girls State is to teach women that they are leaders and how the governemnt works. The girls are divided into ten or so “cities” and assigned a party. Each city has elected officials such as mayors, senators, and reps. Then you can run for state legisilature such as govorner or lt. govorner. I ran for lt. govorner and didnt win but I made it to one of the farther levels so I was able to talk to the other canidates. These young ladies inspired me that I could achieve greatness. Also the young lady who was elected govorner (went on to go to Harvard) was amazing. She was such a poised speaker and talker. Girls State also had guest speakers who taught us morals and talked about their leadership career.

    I left Girls State a happy and inspired sixteen year old. Programs like Maddie’s conference and Girls State are so important for young women to realize how they can make a difference and become leaders.

  2. You talked a lot about how your mother was an amazing role model for you as a woman who gave 110% of her energy to both being a good mother as well as a go-getter in the workplace. My experience growing up was a little bit different – my mom took the off-ramp and stayed at home full time to raise myself and my sister. She has talked a lot about returning to work since we’re both in college now, but has yet to do it. I see a lot of her frustrations with reentering the work force, which brings to life a lot of what we’ve talked about so far in class.

    I think your point about developing perceptions of leadership from our childhood has a lot of credit, and our pictures are probably very different since I didn’t have a working woman role model as readily accessible as you did growing up. However, I think that both have a lot of merit. I have been given a million leadership opportunities in my life, especially here at CNU – and I have made a point to capitalize on as many as I can (sometimes more than I can handle!). It’s been really cool to involve my mom in that process by keeping her in the loop about everything I am involved with on campus and it’s even more amazing to see her become more empowered herself as a result.

    Even though that women leadership picture wasn’t as clean-cut for me growing up, I definitely learned a lot from my mother who had “opted-out”. There you go – a blurb from the other side of the coin. Hahaha.

  3. I have heard similarly great things about this conference in Richmond as well as Girl’s State. You talk about the need for a more diverse representation of leadership. When you stated, “Leadership isn’t about the color of your skin, or the type of clothes that you wear, or whether or not you are a female or male, but it is about you who are as a person and how your values and beliefs as a leader can help someone else to become a better them,’ it reminded me of the President’s Leadership Program speaker this week, Kay Coles. Coles, working in many different sectors of leadership represents an unconditional type of leader. From the projects of Richmond, Coles has an underprivileged background, on top of being a woman and of African American ethnicity. Coles work demonstrates the variety of leaders in the world and how these qualities aren’t defining or inhibitors, it truly is your charisma and personality that can cause you to be an effective leader.

  4. I think this conference is the essence of what women in America need focus on. Introducing these monumental concepts of women in leadership to girls of a young age presents them with the idea early on. Showing girls at that age how much the media sways body image is huge. Providing girls in America the chance to not focus on what they look like and focus on their intelligence and personality, will increase the amount of women we see in leadership. Last week Kyle posted about Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and her views on leadership. She talked about the concepts of how women should “keep their hands raised,” “make your partner a partner,” and “don’t leave before you leave.” These are the concepts that are going to encourage more women into the work force. In class I believe we have determined that women are more than capable to succeed at any job. But how do we encourage them to pursue them and keep them there? I think this conference is a message that could benefit women across the whole country if heard. Conferences like these encourage young women and mentally prepare them to take on the world. The confidence this conference instills in these girls is going to encourage them to keep their hands raised in class, find a man to support them and to work until they get what they deserve.


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