To achieve their goals, people should act and work like women, according to an education leader.
Heather Hanbury, president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), addressed the organisation on Monday, extolling the virtues of feminine and “soft power” traits such as empathy, creativity, and collaboration.
Ms Hanbury, who is also the principal of Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton, told the GSA’s annual conference that it is the responsibility of schools to instil these qualities in all students, regardless of gender.
“It’s absolutely time to finally acknowledge that working like girls and women is a great way to work and live,” she will say.
“I’ve had enough of being told otherwise. No-one should feel they have to ‘be like a man’ to succeed in life.”
Ms Hanbury argues to more than 150 head teachers from independent and state schools that girls’ schools are “incubators of new and better ways of thinking and being.”
She also urges that schools must instil female traits in all pupils irrespective of gender to create a more successful, healthy and gender-equitable world.
“This influence isn’t just about girls and young women but about the huge value that young women offer and create in the world through the way that they work and spend their time in it,” she said.
“We are developing makers, creators, engineers, artists, leaders, future change makers and a completely new world in our schools that place a premium on the way young women think and act – dextrous and empathetic human beings who will disrupt the outmoded myopic, competitively driven alpha-style culture that so often ends up in burnout.”