By lauracohn
July 18, 2016

As a writer, I like the expression “the power of the pen,” but Sheryl Sandberg made a good point recently about the power of images and the impact they have on young women.

In a post on her Facebook page, Sandberg noted that a photo of a young girl looking up at the actress Kristen Wiig at the Ghostbusters movie premiere proved that role models can be a powerful force. “When our films depict strong women in leading roles, we show girls they can become anything they want to be—including a Ghostbuster,” the Facebook exec and Lean In founder wrote. Her point was well taken, and combatted some of the sexist remarks made online about the trailer for the movie, which stars four female leads.

The photo from the premiere wasn’t the only empowering image for women that’s emerged worldwide in recent days. There was Theresa May walking into No. 10 Downing Street as she became Britain’s second female prime minister, not to mention the new powerful Nike ad featuring female Indian athletes running, jumping, and playing cricket.

Studies show that when women look at other female role models, they become better leaders themselves because it gives them confidence. Just imagine how young women will feel if they see a woman become U.S. president or UN secretary general this fall. Or both. It’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Laura Cohn

@laurascohn

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