Happy International Women’s Day 2017!
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017, we’d like to share a few of the ways that Women’s Wilderness helps young girls find their strength, confidence, and bravery. Here to help us is guest blogger, Emily Eley.
A Brave Place for Brave Girls
Women’s Wilderness’s mission is to strengthen the courage, confidence, and leadership qualities of girls and women through the challenge and support of group wilderness and community based experiences. Our goal is to help women and girls find their purpose and be confident enough to explore it. We use nature and the woods to help facilitate this goal. We also use discourse and mentorship.
How can we use mentorshipand years of experience to help girls explore opportunities where they can find their authentic selves? How can we teach girls that there is a place, and more importantly a need, for them in our current climate? As an adult woman, my actions and words impact the young girls watching me. How do I show bravery, compassion, perseverance and confidence in the face of adversity? How do I convey to the girls who come after me that there is a position for them in the classroom, behind the podium, in the lab and in front of a room of board members?
The Bravery Deficit
In a Ted Talk, Reshma Saujani discusses what she calls a “bravery deficit” when it comes to educating and raising girls.
Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty. Play it safe. Get all As. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough. Swing high. Crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off, head first. And by the time they’re adults, whether they’re negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they’re habituated to take risk after risk. They’re rewarded for it. Our economy, our society, we’re just losing out because we’re not raising our girls to be brave. The bravery deficit is why women are underrepresented in STEM, in C-suites, in boardrooms, in Congress, and pretty much everywhere you look.
Women’s Wilderness teaches bravery because we believe that courage leads to personal drive in the face of fear. This, in turn, leads to strength and ultimately to the knowledge that we are capable of anything we put our minds to.
This is why we created a new model of conscious choice-based, women-specific wilderness education. We effectively teach skills crucial to building self-sufficiency, confidence and personal strength. So to you thriving, beautiful, brave, young Soul, here’s to finding your feet and standing firm as heck in them with ambition and passion bursting from your seams!
Find your footing and KEEP IT:
- Proclaim your aspirations. Be fearless when you tell people what you want to achieve.
- Determine what it is that lights you on fire and get involved with people who are doing that.
- Seek out a woman who is addressing issues that interest you and ask her to mentor you. I promise, it’s a huge compliment to be asked.
- Build a crew. Surround yourself with a network of people who believe in you and will fight for you. In return, support them in their ambitions.
When we provide strong female mentors and inspiring role models, diminish gender stereotypes in our homes, schools and communities, and create rich learning opportunities, the results are powerful. Girls will believe they are intelligent and capable, when their communities project the message every day that they ARE intelligent and that they ARE capable.
At Women’s Wilderness we teach bravery. We believe in leading by example so we fill our staff with brave, badass women. We believe in lifting as we rise so for every step we take higher we lift the young girls and women around us too. Why? Because we believe in tearing down the “bravery deficit” in our world and building up the world’s next generation of resolutely fearless Sheros!
Happy International Women’s Day 2017!
About the Author: Emily Eley is a women’s rights activist, a revolutionary and occasionally a writer. She recently graduated from CU Boulder with an honors thesis on Neoliberalism and the Death of the Pedagogical Institution. She believes in riding hard, swimming faster and tackling fears on the daily. When she is not planning her revolution, she can be found climbing mountains and doing puzzles with her partner and her 2 kitties Zucchini and Lima Bean.