Did you know girls are statistically more likely to aspire to be and do things if they see women currently in those roles? Think about that for a second…
You may have heard the phrase “If She Can See It, She Can Be It” when Geena Davis came to Kansas City as part of the CHAT Series last year. This phrase and campaign is part of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. While with the original research focusing on the inequity of women in entertainment, we know that this issue extends far beyond the media industry thanks to Girl Scout Research Institute and the research of many others.
At Girl Scouts we’re working to break those gender stereotypes and show girls EXACTLY what they can be when they grow up. Like a football player or a race car driver.
Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors descended upon Arrowhead Stadium for the first-ever Girl Scout takeover on October 7. Nearly 150 girls went behind the scenes at Arrowhead, scoping out the press and locker rooms, designing team logos, learning the history behind the Chiefs and NFL and doing Play60 activities. However, the most inspiring part of the evening for many of them was actually participating in football drills with the Liberty North High School Quarterback, Brooke Liebsch and the women of the KC Titans football team.
Yes, a real-life female football player and the all-woman tackle football team in Kansas City.
Brooke has been playing football since 2010 in a Pop Warner league where she was a Wide Receiver and Cornerback. After a little game of catch with her coach in 2013, she was moved to Quarterback and has been playing that position for the past four years. Brooke has only played on all-boys teams, but that doesn’t bother her.
“My whole football career I have had doubters, but that has never stopped me from playing the game I love.”
The KC Titans set up a series of drills for Girl Scouts to go through. Girl Scouts suited up with pads and helmet and ran drills. They worked on their passing game with Brooke, tried some defensive moves on an artificial field and tested their agility with some ladder runs!
Brooke shared a quote from her mentor, Atlanta Falcons staff member, Katie Sowers, “stay humble, stay true and always believe. Go out there and follow your dreams, and NEVER GIVE UP!”
Girls left that evening with hugs galore from the women of the KC Titans, an autographed card from Brooke and the knowledge and experience to know that they can be anything they want to be – even a football player.
Now, fast forward a week to Girl Scout Day at Kansas Speedway on October 15.
Girl Scouts, troop leaders, moms and dads came from all around our region to see XFINITY race that and attend a Girl Scout-only Q&A with Danica Patrick.
The Girl Scout alumna fielded all sorts of questions from Girl Scouts about what it’s like to be one of the only females competing in a male-dominated sport, like:
“What’s your fastest time or speed?”
“When you get older do you still want to do race car driving?”
“When did you know that you wanted to be a racecar driver?”
“Do people make fun of you because you’re the only woman who is racing?”
Girls are asking these questions because they’re genuinely curious. They want to know what they’ll encounter if they choose to do something that is stereotypically considered a “boys activity.” They want to know that there are people out there that will support them and offer them encouragement and guidance to pursue their dreams and that maybe the idea isn’t as scary as it might seem.
Danica answered our girls’ questions honestly and with warmth and kindness.
“I’m sure they do [make fun of me for racing]. But some people to make fun of things because it’s something different and they’re scared of it, or jealous of it or don’t know what to think of it; But I like to be different. You just have to have confidence, believe in yourself and go after your goals.”
Both Brooke and Danica are breaking the glass ceilings in their professions and showing girls that they can be anything they desire as long as they first believe in themselves and second put the hard work in to meet their goals.