Imperfect Girls Make Perfect Role Models

Claire Shipman and JillEllyn RileyKatty Kay / The New York Times
Role models inspire by showing us what is actually possible. Research supports that it works: These trailblazers not only help us imagine where we might go, they also help us map out the path to get there. Importantly, people who are “works in progress” can be more inspiring than the preordained successes of powerhouse figures.
"How can you spot the signs of this confidence plunge in your daughter? She may grow more unwilling to take risks, to try something new, to fail. It might be a reluctance to speak up in class, to try out for a new sport or put herself out there with an unfamiliar classmate. Overthinking, people-pleasing and perfectionism typically kick in, effectively grinding her confidence to a halt."

How Puberty Kills Girls’ Confidence

Until the age of 12, there was virtually no difference in confidence between boys and girls. But, because of the drop-off girls experienced during puberty, by the age of 14 the average girl was far less confident than the average boy. Many boys, the survey suggested, do experience some hits to their confidence entering their teens, but nothing like what girls experience.
In the new book "The Confidence Code for Girls", authors Katty Kay, Claire Shipman and Jill Ellyn Riley lay out a recipe for confidence; risk more, think less, be yourself. While both nature and nurture play a role in the confidence shortage, the authors asset that middle step, the “think less,” requires special attention, because the female brain can derail the confidence-building process before it even begins.
The biggest backlash risk is a fake accusation that will undermine genuine accusers. Whether for personal, vindictive reasons or for political, strategic reasons, a woman will falsely accuse a high profile man of sexual misconduct, the story will get attention and then when it's proven to be fake, the backlash will begin. The response will quickly be: "You see, all these stories aren't true. Women are making it up." The next fear is that men will get so nervous that they're going to be accused of harassment that they will simply stop hiring, meeting or socialising with female colleagues. There are reports this is already happening. We will get shut out of the room where important decisions are made because men fear our presence? How ironic would that be?