When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.

Pledge to Ban Bossy.

Did you know?
  • The confidence
    gap starts early.

    Between elementary and high school, girls’
    self–esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.

    Pass It On
  • Bossy holds
    girls back.

    Girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that
    leadership roles will make them seem “bossy.”

    Pass It On
  • Girls get less
    airtime in class.

    They are called on less
    and interrupted more.

    Pass It On

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Ban Bossy in Action

Lifetime and BBDO New York are committed to Ban Bossy. Watch their inspiring takes on why the messages we send our girls matter—
and what happens when we encourage our girls to raise their hands, sit at the table and lean in.

“I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”

“Change the Story”

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Family Activity
Movie Night Activity (PDF)

Inspired by the popular TED Talk by Colin Stokes, “How Movies Teach Manhood,” this activity helps turn any family movie night into an open discussion on gender in media and beyond. Recommended for kids 6 and up. Download this activity


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