Sentinel Progress

Girl Scouts going digital

PICKENS COUNTY — Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands recently announced Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and LinkedIn have launched The Girl Scout Network on the professional networking website, LinkedIn.

Just a few days before Equal Pay Day on April 10, Girl Scouts and LinkedIn manifested their shared commitment to equal opportunity in a new career resource that promotes girls’ and women’s empowerment, leadership and advancement in the world.

With the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017 findings revealing that gender pay parity is still more than 200 years away, the two organizations are taking action to help tip the scales for women in the workplace.

The Girl Scout Network (GSN) invites the organization’s more than 50 million Girl Scout alums to connect with one another to enhance their career development.

Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands urges anyone in the Upstate and Midlands who was a Daisy, Brownie, or higher in Girl Scouts is an alum to join — whether she was a Girl Scout Brownie for one year, or went through the whole program and earned her Girl Scout Gold Award.

“Millions of girls already benefit from being a part of Girl Scouts as they grow up, and this new community on LinkedIn will similarly offer support for female professionals, said a spokesperson for GS Mountains to Midlands. “It will also allow alums the opportunity to share their experience with the next generation and join forces with like-minded women to effect change.”

Phonecia Hughes, a troop leader on the council who also serves on the council fund development committee, has lead the effort to engage alumnae in the area’s council.

“Because someone set aside time for me, I want to make sure girls have access to the programs that Girl Scouts provides,” she said.

Hughes was a girl in Girl Scouts for 13 years, a Gold Award Girl Scout, and continues to be an active alumnae.

With access to LinkedIn’s rich data and insights, GSUSA will aggregate key information from the public profiles of Girl Scout alums, such as: education, career fields, and leadership positions to identify trends, deficits and opportunities for women in the workplace.

“This information will help Girl Scouts create relevant and impactful programs and experiences for girls in Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands and beyond, to both better prepare them to lead as professionals in the workplace and move the needle on gender parity in their respective fields,” they said.

The collaboration will also mark the first time that GSUSA will have the ability to track the life experiences and success of Girl Scout alums using LinkedIn’s community of more than 546 million members.

“At present, stories about unequal and unethical treatment of women continue to populate headlines across the United States, the spokes person stated. “The Girl Scout Network on LinkedIn will offer inspiring personal stories from girls and alums as well as ways to support and help prepare girls to lead. The page will also provide new and relevant statistics about female leadership to inform and energize female professionals in their careers to take the reins and be trailblazers in our country and the world.”

The Girl Scout Network will also provide a place for employers and human resource professionals to recruit women who possess both the hard and soft skills crucial to career success, such as complex problem solving, process skills, and teamwork and communication — all of which girls learn through Girl Scouts.

In fact, Girl Scouts completed a grand total of 12.6 million skill-development programs over the past four years, they said.

Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, a 2012 Girl Scout Research Institute report, also found that Girl Scout alums outperform non-alums in key economic indicators, including higher household incomes and higher socioeconomic statuses. And a 2014 Girl Scout Research Institute report found that 68 percent of alums attribute their success in life to Girl Scouts.

“As the largest girl leadership organization in the United States, Girl Scouts is responding to the clear national need for strong leadership, pay parity and a robust talent pool to meet our nation’s skilled labor needs,” said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. “We are thrilled to align with LinkedIn to establish a network of tens of millions of Girl Scout alums. I encourage all Girl Scout alums to help fuel the talent pipeline and enhance their professional networks by joining the Girl Scout Network on LinkedIn.”

“Being a Girl Scout opened my eyes early in life to what it means to be a leader and team player,” said Alyssa Merwin, vice president, Sales Solutions Americas, LinkedIn. “Now online communities like the Girl Scout Network will provide critical outlets for millions of girls and young women to continue benefiting from the power of this network as they navigate their careers. LinkedIn is proud to collaborate with Girl Scouts to advance a shared commitment to creating economic and workplace opportunity for all women using our LinkedIn Company Page platform.”

Girl Scout alums include 76 percent of current female U.S. Senators, 67 percent of current female U.S. Governors and every female U.S. Secretary of State.

In addition, more than half of women leaders in business are Girl Scout alums. Girl Scouts’ legacy is one of girls and women supporting one another and effecting change through civic engagement be it in Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands or elsewhere.

The Girl Scout Network will allow GSUSA and Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands to better prepare and mobilize more girls to make the world a better place.

Girl Scout alums in Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands and beyond interested in joining should visit The Girl Scout Network and click “follow.”
Girl Scout alums include 76 percent of current female U.S. Senators, 67 percent of current female U.S. Governors and every female U.S. Secretary of State. Scout alums include 76 percent of current female U.S. Senators, 67 percent of current female U.S. Governors and every female U.S. Secretary of State. Courtesy photo
New collaboration with professional networking site to bring scouting alums together.

By Kasie Strickland

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.