Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 1.34.19 PMOne of my goals is to get involved with the Girl Scouts. A couple of years ago I read ‘My Life In Leadership’ by Frances Hesselbein who went from a troop leader to a transformational CEO of the Girl Scouts, and I attended an event where the CEO at that time spoke about her challenge to restructure the organization for efficiency just like every major corporation was doing. I was a Brownie, and a Girl Scout. My mother was a leader. I went to GS camp every year where I learned to ride a horse, build a latrine, shoot a gun, swim, make stew in a coffee can cooked in a campfire, and live in a tent with other girls in the woods. I loved it.

Last week I attended the 22nd Girl Scout Leading Women Awards where 500 women and girls celebrated 5 individuals for their leadership. The speech by the current CEO shared how GS supports girls to be the best they can be. We know girls want and should be leaders if given the chance. GS is essential to build a team, each individual finds their own path, some learn the outdoors, some through dance, through art, but all learn self esteem. Each girl turns into a leader in their community. Bullying is prevalent, we know that, as is depression and poverty and violence. GS provides a safe environment where girls can express themselves and be introduced to their potential. There are 2.6 million GS addressing issues in their communities.

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts consist of 40,000 girl members and 17,000 dedicated volunteers…very impressive. The honorees were women leaders, role models, with outstanding success and impact in their communities and professions. They empower women and girls and are proud to be part of the GS family. The girls attending the event were budding artists, inquisitive scientists, courageous outdoors women, community activists. For these girls GS is a foundation. Each award recipient had a different point to share in their success.

-The President of Simmons College was honored and shared that Simmons is studying equal pay for women in business. More men and boys in leadership positions must support this mission.

-The SVP of Boston Scientific was honored and shared that she grew up improvised, painfully shy, and her mother took her to Girl Scouts to give her confidence and a voice.

-Founder of Care.com was honored, a digitally based company helping families select child care, sr care, specialist needs. Her message was to study hard, voice your passion, find mentors throughout your life, be flexible and collaborate with others.

-The Sr Director of Customer Experience at Kronos was honored. She was a badge addict, competitive, and shared her disappointments and how they shaped her life.

-Mayor Menino was also honored and in his family women were Girl Scouts. The 15 yr old GS that introduced him said she wanted to be the President of the US and the mayor said that she should be a mayor instead, a much better job, as you get to talk to more people and control your destiny. The mayor shared that of all the mayors in the country, he has the most women in his department. “From the very beginning I knew I wanted people to know that I would try my best to be inclusive and represent all the city’s people. When I took office in 1993 I hired a women as my chief of staff, my corporation counsel, and the first female police commissioner. I sent a message that my admin would not be filled with political appointments but talented people from across the city. 98% of kids are great, 2% need help. The Girl Scout Fab Program is a critical part of the city needs, in urban neighborhoods where development is limited and girls can discover their innerconfidence to make a difference.”

Confidence, Courage, and Character is for every girl and to make the world a better place. Fundraising was top of mind as 82 cents of every dollar goes to girl programing. Neimans donated a string of pearls for auction, as Juliette Low, the founder, gave all her personal effects including her grandmother’s pearl necklace to fund the GS in the beginning.

For those of us that were Girl Scouts, you will remember the: Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law.

It’s Almost Cookie Time…The Girl Scout Cookie Sale begins Dec 13th. Learn more at hergirlscouts.org. I have had the privilege to meet many of the directors as I was invited to a task force to improve their retail business and have been so impressed by the energy and commitment of everyone in the organization. And hope to be more involved in the future.

20/20 Women on Boards is a national organization whose goal is by 2020, 20% of corporate board positions will be held by women. Nationally the statistics are improving 16.6% currently. In Massachusetts the statistics are better than the national average. The event I attended last week was also in 20 major cities in the US to hear a panel of women speak about their board positions, how to apply and be successful. Men need to support women to these board positions. Without that, progress will not be made.

Pay attention to who sponsors organizations that support women and girls…and who is absent from the list. I am. Ahah Moment:

20 Women in the Senate’ article in Time Magazine…The Gang of 20 has a combined power greater than ever, but they still have a long way to go. They get together for non partisan conversation to support each other in private gatherings. Now the women chiefs of staff are getting together to do the same. Barbara Mikulski is the leader of the women’s caucus but still women struggle in the White House and on K street for the top jobs. There is still the casual chauvinism and old fashioned gender roles. Just think 100 years ago women were only getting the vote and ‘The Butler’ was serving. The infrastructure is not deep enough for Hillary or any women president quite yet. (in my humble opinion)

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 12.41.16 PM Product: Alex and Ani seems to be everywhere. From this small Rhode Island jewelry maker to big business. Selling positive energy to young girls, college age, Bloomingdales customers, all affordable and fun. I even saw the bracelets at Yankee stadium gift shop with Yankee with charms. And their advertising is at Fenway. Make no mistake, there is big money behind them and targeted marketing. Their CHARITY BY DESIGN program empowers non profit organizations to earn portion of the proceeds directly. The Girl Scouts had an event this week. Perfect gift for the holidays. Will their retail stores be open on Thanksgiving? Doubt it!