Can We Stop Saying “Girl Boss?”

girl boss

Women are amazing. I look to people like Mother Theresa, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Malala, and countless other women who have changed the world by their influence. I can’t necessarily relate to all of them, but what I can relate to is the desire to be heard and the desire to make a difference. 

When I think of these women, a few different words and phrases come to mind. 



One of a kind. 


None of these things have to do with their gender. So, why are we using phrases like “Girl boss,” “Lady Boss,” “Boss Babe,” “Boss Bi***” (which is my all-time least favorite)? Let’s just stop.

Women’s transformation in history

Please do not mistake my distaste for these nicknames for not supporting women in leadership roles. Women BELONG in leadership roles. If the role of a leader is to represent a group of people, there should be representation for males AND females who make up that group.

However, the way to be taken seriously as a leader is not by adding a cutesy feminine tag to it. If your male counterpart walked into a room with “Boss Boy” on his coffee mug, what would your reaction be? 

Women in history have fought hard to be taken seriously. So shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves?

The real deal

I have been incredibly lucky to work under several female CEOs. They are the cream of the crop in their industry because of their hard work and dedication to their business. What I admire most about them, though, is that they embrace their femininity AND hold high-level positions at work. These two things work independently from one another. They do not have to justify each other. Their success is not based on their gender. It’s based on results. 

Women building up women

I am NOT saying that women should not embrace their womanhood. On the contrary. My hope is that women, including myself, can be so confident in their careers that they can just be THE boss. Women should continue to partner together so that more seats at the table can open up. The more women in leadership, the less we need special monikers to mark our success. 

I don’t think the term #GirlBoss is necessarily degrading. I just think it’s silly. And when it comes to my work, I want to walk in the room where men and women are on an equal playing field and don’t need qualifiers for being there. So, in the meantime, all you women out there in leadership: you are a total BOSS. Period.

Jessica Hauerwas
Jessica is a nonprofit leader who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited where she runs the day-to-day nonprofit. She and her husband Chris have three littles at home (Jane, Clark, and Louise) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. Jessica also volunteers for various organizations, is a member of the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of three under 4.


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