Teenage girls face bias as leaders

New York, July 29 (IANS) Not only many teen boys but many teen girls and some parents appear to have biases against them as leaders, a study has found.

These biases could be powerful barriers to leadership for a generation of teen girls with historically high levels of education.

“Our study points to insidious bias against girls as leaders that comes from many sources” said Richard Weissbourd, a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“Bias can be a powerful and invisible barrier to teen girls’ leadership. Yet parents and teachers can do a great deal to stem these biases and help children manage them,” Weissbourd said.

The report also says that much can be done to prevent and reduce gender biases in children.

The report titled “Leaning Out: Teen Girls and Gender Biases”, assesses the explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious) biases of teen girls, teen boys, and parents with regard to gender and leadership.

Some mothers have implicit biases against teen girls as leaders.

The study called Making Caring common conducted the research during the 2014-15 school year, including a survey of almost 20,000 students from a diverse range of 59 middle and high schools.

“The question for parents and educators today is, “How can we support girls in overcoming these barriers?” said author and parenting expert Michele Borba.

“We all have a part to play in creating a culture in which girls can reach their full potential,” Borba said.

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