AusMumPreneur feature Maria Borg & Girl Ready
Published in Mumpreneur on Monday 18th Feruary, 2019
The AusMumpreneur team have recently interviewed Maria Borg, founder of Girl Ready, an events based education platform for Teenage girls and their parents.
The focus of Girl Ready is to close the knowledge gap for teen girls between what they are taught in the academic arena and the human-based skills they need to succeed and thrive on their chosen path in life. Helping them become the new thought leaders, visionaries, entrepreneurs and world leaders of tomorrow.
At the same time, these events educate mothers and assist them in cultivating the skills they need to be the best parent and person they want to be.
Girl Ready’s inaugural event on Cultivating Resilience and Creating a Growth Mindset will be held on the 16th of March 2019 at the Powerhouse Museum, Harris St, Ultimo. Tickets are available here.
Tell us about yourself and your family.
I am the mother of 2 fabulous kids – a daughter and son, who both in a few short weeks will be 14 yrs and 11 yrs respectively
Motherhood was something that I always wanted and becoming a mother has been a truly fulfilling and rewarding experience for me, but it has certainly been a HUGE learning experience also.
My entire career has been centred around the development of people and studying the human connection. I have spent many years as a corporate trainer and career development professional, whilst also studying the human connection through Neuro-linguistics, Nutritional Therapy and the science of Resilience.
As a parent, this developed further as I had now added a new layer to the human connection and found a deeper understanding of how fragile a relationship can be when not tended to daily and with care.
Tell us about Girl Ready.
Girl Ready is a human-based learning platform for teenage girls and their parents.
We are closing the knowledge gap for teen girls between what they are taught in the academic arena and the human-based skills they need to succeed and thrive on their chosen path in life.
With human-based learning, young women can choose to define success in their terms based on what it looks like for them. Helping them become – in their own important way, the new thought leaders, visionaries, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.
What was the inspiration for Girl Ready?
I have always felt a deep yearning to leave the world a little better than when I entered it. To serve and give back in a way that truly makes a difference in a profound way to people’s lives.
After becoming a parent and blindly navigating through some interesting and at times, very difficult challenges, it became very clear to me that parenting was an area that needed some further attention. It couldn’t just be about stumbling through hoping to get it right. And every parent I spoke to felt the same way.
A friend confided in me that she was experiencing many challenges with her daughter and would give anything to be able to truly re-connect with her. To get away from all distractions and really get back to being open, honest and vulnerable with each other.
I knew this resonated with so many parents. It was in this moment that everything shifted.
When we speak about parenting, we often focus on what we need to teach the child to help them. I felt this was a little too simplistic. In my view, parenting needs to be a collaborative experience, not a one-way street.
Joseph Chilton Pearce sums it up beautifully when he says ‘What we are, teaches the child more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.’
I searched for something that offered a true combined learning experience for girls and their parents and couldn’t find what I was looking for – so I set out to create it.
Do you think girls today face more challenges than teens who grew up without technology and social media?
There is no doubt that Social Media and technology is both a problem and a positive.
Statistics in Australia show an increasing metal health trend (particularly in girls) promoting anxiety, lowering self-esteem, creating beliefs around poor body image, loneliness and anxiety. There is also supporting evidence to suggest that our children are missing out on very critical social skills as they interact increasingly on an online platform.
Mission Australia conducted their annual survey last year surveying 28,286 young Australians aged 15-19 years aiming to identify both the values and issues of concern to young people. Mental health is the number one issue of national concern in the 2018 Youth Survey. 43% of young people identified mental health as the top issue facing Australia today. Rising from 33% in 2017 and doubling since 2016.
When young people were asked what their top four issues of personal concern were, the top four concerns all presented strong links to mental health:
Coping with stressSchool or study problemsMental healthBody image
“Young females continue to report higher levels of concern in relation to coping with stress, school or study problems, and body image than compared young males of the same age.” Sir David Martin Foundation- Helping young kids in crisis.
There are of course also positive aspects to social platforms however, I believe there is a critical need for balance.
You’re passionate about the need to develop teen girl’s resilience, why is it so important?
Resilience is an essential skill for ALL areas of life. It is what helps us Advance despite Adversity. Life is an ever-changing arena full of challenges, victories and failures. How our girls learn to manage this will set them up for life.
Human-centred learning such as resilience and growth mindset are important for everyone. These are fundamental teachings that our lives should be centred around to allow for growth as individuals and overall wellbeing.
Our girls (and every child) need to be able to engage with the world through a place of worthiness, creativity, respect and compassion (for self and others), vulnerability and perseverance and above all a sense of courage and resilience.
Resilience is important, what are some of the other qualities you believe teen girls need to navigate their journey?
Growth MindsetFinancial literacy
The truth behind body image (marketing and hype) and the Psychology of Selling
Growing up in a hyper sexualised environment
Mind/ Body balance and Self Defence
Understanding how to create “Brand” and how to create their own ‘Personal’ brand (as opposed to business brand)
Defining success in your own terms
Emotional intelligence (EQ), (AQ) Adversity quotient and (RQ) Resilience QuotientScience of Communication – (not speaking & Hearing) But consciously listening & learning and creating outcomes
Human Connection and bringing the ‘Human’ backGoals:
Understanding your Values and your ‘WHY’ & Purpose
Risk taking & entrepreneurship
These and more are topics we are covering in our events/ workshops and mentoring program.
How can we as mothers support our daughters?
Brene Brown tells us:
“perfect and bullet proof are seductive but they don’t exist in the human experience. We must simply DARE to show up”
So as mums, I believe, we must first embrace our own vulnerability and focus on the long-term cultivation of a deep relationship with our daughters
Respecting your daughter’s perspective as valid and true for Her – and accepting her perspective as valuable.
Enabling her to feel that there is a space free of judgement and a space where we can both be vulnerable. That all decisions – easy or otherwise – can be made with support and understanding.
It is also very important to determine whether our daughters have the emotional and psychological maturity to undertake certain things. I don’t believe I need to be my daughter’s best friend. There needs to be a mutual understanding regarding which decisions require discussion & agreement and which she can undertake on her own.
Allowing her the space to build the resilience she needs to work through her decisions and actions independently.
Staying close, having an open, vulnerable relationship and accepting that we will both make mistakes along the way and openly acknowledging those mistakes, will in my opinion make the relationship stronger.
Your Girl Ready event is coming up in March, what can we expect from this event?
You can expect an Australian FIRST in terms of content and learning. This type of event has never been run before.
We have an incredible line-up of speakers, but the content will blow you away:
We will be teaching the girls and their parents, techniques and metal strategies to cultivate resilience and build a growth mindset that they can apply immediately.
Our Girl Ready Young Ambassadors and the NSW Young Australian of the Year will definitely motivate and inspire the girls as they listen to them, share their challenges and incredible stories of resilience and growth.
The event will be interactive with Q&A’s and live surveys, so the attendees will be fully immersed from the start.
We will be introducing the AI-Powered Resilience Coach which is an incredible online and intuitive tool to assess current levels of resilience and whilst using that as a benchmark, it intuitively coaches the user on how to build resilience DAILY.
We have some wonderful partners, sponsors and ambassadors who are supporting our event by proving some incredible gift giveaways for both teens and their parents – thousands of dollars in total value. More to come soon.
This is definitely an event not to be missed by Teenage girls and their parents.
What’s your vision for Girl Ready’s future?
My vision is that we positively impact the lives of as many Teenage Girls and their parents as possible.
Creating a way of living that will enable the Young women of today to become the visionaries, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and brilliant women of tomorrow – however they define success for themselves.
Success is by definition is: ‘an accomplishment of an aim or purpose’
Every young woman out there has a purpose. Our aim is the help them find it and accomplish it – to change the World!