What girls need: the power & importance of adaptability — Dr. Marisa Porges, author & headmaster, The Baldwin School (Episode 114)

With Marisa Porges
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Show Notes

When Marisa Porges realized that her physiology wouldn’t allow her to continue as a naval fighter pilot — something she had dreamed of and worked toward her entire young life, she was devastated. What she couldn’t have known then was that the experience and what she learned about setback would form the basis of her philosophy on what girls need to know to not only succeed, but to bounce back from failure and setback and to embrace new paths forward with a mindset focused on personal growth. Today, Marisa is using that knowledge to help girls at her alma mater, the 130 year old Baldwin School where is currently the headmaster, but she has also written a fabulous book entitled: “What girls need: How to raise bold, courageous, and resilient women.” 

Marisa offers a fresh perspective informed by her research, but perhaps even more importantly her personal experiences. Her wide-ranging career has offered her a unique lens to understand more broadly people, cultures, and ways of thinking and working. After all, she’s the head of a girls school who was previously a fighter pilot — one of only eight women out of a battalion of 200. She worked at the White House with a focus on counterterrorism and traveled extensively in the Middle East interviewing tribal and Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. If you are familiar with former Harvard Kennedy School of Government Dean Joseph Nye’s description of a “tri-sector athlete,” Marisa unquestionably fits the description more than most! 

When you think about challenging yourself (and your children) to take risks and to help them become more resilient, much of what Marisa recommends illustrates both theory, as well as real world practice. 

Some specific topics we delve into in this episode: 

  • The importance of developing adaptability and agility — a timely topic particularly during COVID; 
  • How agility and adaptability might impact how we think about reinvention over the course of our lives and careers;
  • Simple ways to teach our girls (actually our children) to advocate for themselves.  

I don’t want to give too much away, as I hope you’ll listen to the episode, and add Marisa’s book to your reading list. It comes out Tuesday, August 4, 2020. You can order it here .  Let me know what you think! If you enjoy the episode, please consider taking a screen shot and posting it on Instagram and tag @SheSaidSheSaidPodcast @LauraCoxKaplan @MarisaPorges xo