Last week I was very fortunate to attend the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) first-ever Global Forum. NCGS is the leading advocate for girls’ schools, connecting and collaborating globally with individuals, schools, and organizations dedicated to educating and empowering girls. The coalition’s ability to connect with organizations committed to the education of girls resulted in forum attendees from over 20 countries hearing from some remarkable speakers.
On Friday, at the beginning of our St. Clement’s professional development for staff, I shared a few thoughts from keynote and session speakers and thought I would do the same this week for blog readers. Not only do these words reflect wisdom, they are from women whom I admire greatly- even more so since seeing them in person.
Gloria Steinem, writer, lecturer, political activist and feminist organizer, reminded us that “we have more power if we listen more than talk,’ and, ‘You can’t have democracy without feminism.”
Holly Ransom, CEO of Emergent Solutions, specializing in the development of high performing intergenerational workforces, explained that ‘teaching leadership is like riding a unicycle: you must always keep your eyes up and move forward.’
Lisa Damour, Director of Laurel School’s Centre for Research and Girls and writer of The New York Times’ “Motherlode” blog, explained adolescence in a way that reminds us to encourage our girls to take risks with support by using the following analogy: “Parents are a swimming pool, their daughters are the swimmers and the water is the world.”
Finally, Ariana Huffington had the audience laughing hard when she exclaimed that “when they take the baby out of the mother, they put guilt in.” She reminded mothers that they needed to stop feeling guilty for taking care of themselves. In addition, Huffington also reminded us about the importance of sleep and our need to disconnect. She reminded us that “we need to ensure that our night stands are not our tech stands.”
I am thankful for the opportunity to have attended the NCGS Global Forum, and even more thankful to have heard from these women who remind us of the important job we have, whether it is raising daughters or guiding and teaching them to be resilient, intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate women.