The effects of athletics on girls' self esteem

Widely known filmmaker and social justice activist Jennifer Siebel Newsom, MBA talks about the positive effects of sports on girls and how athletics can build positive traits in teenage girls.
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The effects of athletics on girls' self esteem

I think that being an athlete as a young girl is an incredible gift, a gift that your parents expose you to that teaches you about team work, strength, courage, all the things that I think are required to be a great leader. And personally I'm so grateful that my dad exposed me to a plethora of sports and actually coached me in many of them. Because I think being a leader on the sports field has given me the courage to do what I do today. Sports are really empowering. I actually played on the Junior National Women's Soccer Team and can't tell you how many doors opened for me as a result of excelling in soccer in particular, but also basketball and tennis and horseback riding and skiing, etc., etc. It was just, it gave me a sense of self and focus. Athletics is confidence-building. It's empowering. It's fun. And I have to say as a young woman getting out on the soccer field and being able to kick the ball farther than any guy or run faster or having mud all over my face as I'm playing in the rain, it's just exhilarating. And being on a team - one of the best ways to empower girls to become leaders is teaching them team-building skills and how to be part of a team, because at the end of the day it takes a village. And if we're going to make the world a better place and if we're going to lead companies and teams to effect change in society at all levels, it requires knowing how to work as a team.

Widely known filmmaker and social justice activist Jennifer Siebel Newsom, MBA talks about the positive effects of sports on girls and how athletics can build positive traits in teenage girls.


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Jennifer Siebel Newsom, MBA

Filmmaker & Social Justice Advocate

An advocate for women, girls, and their families, Jennifer Siebel Newsom uses her skills as a filmmaker, speaker, and CEO of the non-profit social action organization to uncover the glaring injustices we live with every day yet fail to adequately see and ultimately change.  

The eldest of four girls (Jennifer lost her elder sister Stacey in an accident when they were kids), Jennifer dedicates her time and energy to helping our most vulnerable. Most recently, Jennifer has focused her energies on helping individuals recognize their power as consumers and citizens to right wrongs in the media and beyond. 

After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Jennifer worked in Africa and Latin America, helping women entrepreneurs create their own socially and environmentally responsible businesses.

She then moved to Hollywood to pursue acting, quickly landing roles in TV and film including Mad Men, LIFE, In the Valley of Elah, Rent and Something’s Gotta Give.

There - dismayed by the way women were presented in front of the camera - she realized she needed to do more work behind the camera. 

So she wrote, directed and produced the documentary film, Miss Representation, which exposes the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America and challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women, which make it difficult for the average woman and girl to feel powerful herself. 

The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Newsom subsequently launched, a social action campaign whose mission is to shift people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action, and transform culture.

Soon she landed on Newsweek's List of "150 Fearless Women Who Shake the World", Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women”, and San Francisco Business Times’ “Most Influential Women in Business”. 

Newsom has received the “Emerging Artist Award” from The White House Project, “Champion for Kids” award from Common Sense Media, and the “Visionary Award” from Vision 2020, among others.  She has been featured in media outlets such as NPR, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News, Forbes, The Chicago Tribune, O Magazine, and Vogue

An internationally recognized speaker, Newsom has spoken at The World Bank, TEDxWomen, Google, Deutsche Bank, Charles Schwab, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit, Soroptimist International of the Americas Conference, Harvard University, MIT, The California Senate, and The National Coalition of Girls Schools to name a few. 

Today, when she’s not running her non-profit, Newsom serves as a board member for PBS’s Northern California affiliate KQED, a Global Advisory Board member of the Dove Self Esteem Project (DSEP), and a commissioner on the Girl Scouts’ Healthy MEdia Commission. 

In 2012 Jennifer was also an Executive Producer of the Oscar-Nominated documentary, The Invisible War, which unveils the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military. And, she is currently writing, directing, and producing her next documentary series, The Mask You Live In, which exposes the extremes of masculinity imposed on our boys and men and the resulting sociological, economic, and political impact.

Newsom resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and is the proud mother of Montana, Hunter, and Brooklynn.

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