BANGOR – Studies show women are underrepresented when it comes to leadership positions.
On Tuesday, women lawmakers — both past and present — spoke about ways to address the issue.
Women’s leadership was all the talk at the Cross Insurance Center and there were no better examples of leadership than Gov. Janet Mills and former U.S Sen. Olympia Snowe.
“To hear from these two respected, really worldwide leaders, to hear their stories, to hear how it wasn’t a straight line to get to where they were and I think that they were being honest and authentic and the girls can learn directly from them and realize they have opportunities ahead of them,” Olympia’s Leaders Advisor Cary Olson said.
Hundreds of girls from 36 schools across the state attended the kickoff to the fall session of the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute on Tuesday.
For three years, high school girls have been getting guidance and inspiration from institute officials in partnership with their schools to become better leaders.
“We focus on values voice and vision throughout the three years of the curriculum. Sophomore year values, junior year is voice and senior year is vision,” Snowe said.
Mills said the experience will be beneficial for everyone down the line.
“They need to move on to be successful in life in whatever career path they take. We need these gals to grow into full human beings and productive members of our communities and our state,” Mills said.
One advisor said the leadership institute has impacted the girls immensely.
“They feel very confident to get up and ask questions, to show their voice and to have their voice heard, to share their values that they’ve learned and understand what they are and what they mean to themselves,” Olympia’s Leaders Advisor Dianne Mason said.