Guest Blog:Girls Scouts and The Female Leader, by Ruth Wilson Zamierowski

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Ruth Wilson Zamierowski is the Volunteer Service Specialist of the Girls Scouts of Southeastern Michingan. She's passionate about the work that the Girl Scouts' have been doing for decades in support of the growth and development of giirls. And so, when she read the dismal results of a recent Girl Scout survey about women in leadership, she was determined to share them with as many people as people.. Below is a blog she wrote in which she shares some of the results of the survey as well as her fervent plea to support the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan in their effort to shape the leaders of tomorrow.

When women lead, their preferred approach is more inclusive than the traditional command and control style. Studies show that women are also more likely to address issues which impact the vulnerable in society, and are motivated by a desire to change the world for the better.

While most of us would agree that our world could use some improvement, women account for only 18% of the highest leadership positions. Only 15% of board directors and a mere 3.6% of managers the C Suite are women, according to Catalyst research.[1] Yet the evidence shows that women are more than capable of leadership that changes the world.

Kathy Cloninger, in her book Tough Cookies[2] cites a Fortune 500 study finding that boards with at least 25% female directors outperformed companies with lower female representation by wide margins. These companies had 53% better ROI and 66% better return on investment. Companies with female CEOs have more stable earnings and a better chance of survival, according to a Purdue and Manchester Business School study.

So, what is holding women back? The Girl Scout Research Institute studies[3] show that girls perceive barriers to becoming leaders. Girls perceive that they lack the skills, but their reasons for not wanting to lead involve a lack of social safety. Almost 40% of girls report that they have been discouraged or put down in their attempts at leadership.

In a society that scrutinizes women leaders and criticizes their suits and handbags, we need to help our girls develop a stronger sense of self so they can lead on more important issues.

The Eleni Group aligns with this mission by developing women’s confidence and presentation skills for authentic expression and success.

Girl Scouting has a 100 year track record of helping girls develop confidence and courage, and today’s girl scouting is the premier leadership development program for girls.

Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan seeks wonderful women and men to facilitate our leadership programs and be role models for our large and diverse population of girls. If you are interested in contributing your talents, call 313-820-4027 or email rzamierowski@gssem.org. You can help girls become leaders of courage, and character who will make the world a better place!

Ruth Wilson Zamierowski, Volunteer Service Specialist

Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan



[1] Catalyst/Chubb Corporation, 2007.

[2] Kathy Cloninger, Tough Cookies. (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011), p 63

[3] Change It Up, Girl Scout Research Institute, 2008