The New Leadership Landscape

What Girls Say About Election 2008

By Judy Schoenberg, Ed.M., Senior Researcher; Kimberlee Salmond, M.P.P., Senior Researcher; Paula Fleshman, M.S., Research and Evaluation Analyst. (New York, N.Y.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2009).

The New Leadership LandscapeTo determine the impact that the historic presidential election of 2008 had on girls' and boys' leadership aspirations, the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) spearheaded a post-election study immediately following the election. This new study, "The New Leadership Landscape: What Girls Say About Election 2008," also examines girls' and boys' interest in civic participation, engagement in the election, and their perceptions of gender and race in the election campaign.

"The New Leadership Landscape" finds that the presidential election, and the intense campaign season that preceded it, generated an unprecedented level of interest and engagement in civic participation and community service among young people ages 13 - 17. The survey also reveals that girls in particular have not only gained an increased awareness of the barriers that face women, but also an improved sense of their own abilities and potential to overcome those obstacles.

"The New Leadership Landscape" was conducted in conjunction with Fluent, a New York-based research firm, and consisted of an online survey with a sample of 3,284 respondents between the ages of 13 and 17. In an effort to capture diverse reactions the sample design included boys and girls; Girl Scouts and non-Girl Scouts, as well African-American, Hispanic and Asian youth.

This new study built upon the GSRI's 2007 comprehensive study of girls' leadership conceptions and aspirations, Change It Up! What Girls Say About Redefining Leadership.