Emmy Nutting posted an online petition seeking the resignation of Neil Stamps as CEO of Girl Scouts of R.I. Credit: EG News
Emmy Nutting, 11, said she doesn’t have anything against men, but she doesn’t think a man should lead the Girl Scouts of Rhode Island. That’s why she posted an online petition last week asking GSRI CEO Neil Stamps to resign. As of Tuesday evening, the petition had gotten 69 signatures.
Stamps was named CEO two weeks ago, after serving as interim since September.
Neil Stamps is CEO of the Girl Scouts of Rhode Island. Credit: GSRI
“I feel like a man shouldn’t be running the Girl Scouts,” said Emmy over the weekend. “I don’t have anything against men – men are good leaders. Women are good leaders too and there are so few women CEOs. Especially for an organization to help girls, i just don’t think that’s right.”
Emmy is in the fifth grade at Eldredge Elementary School. She has been in Girl Scouts for two years, joining it because her friends were in it.
“It’s fun. We get to go to different places, do crafts and I get to know people from other schools,” she said. She learned about Stamps’ appointment from her mother, Odessa Cozzolino.
“The gap between women and men in top leadership positions is so huge that organizations like GSRI have an obligation to try to remedy that,” said Cozzolino. “Children learn by example and what the GSRI is
teaching with this appointment is that men, even if they are a small minority of an organization, can still take the top paid position and manage all the women and girls working under them. It is unconscionable for the GSRI to have made this decision.”
Stamps is GSRI’s fourth CEO. The three previous CEOs have been women. According to GSRI communications director Nicole Kelly, while having a man head a Girl Scout “council” isn’t common, it does happen. She cited there’d been a male CEO at another council as recently as five years ago.
Stamp spent 30 years in the jewelry industry, most recently at LDC, Inc., where he served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Board Chair Lisa DeCubellis noted his “vast experience in finance operations and new technology” in the press release that was issued after his appointment.
Stamps said he was “truly honored” to head GSRI, noting his daughter had been a Girl Scout a decade ago. And, in a statement Tuesday, he said he saw Emmy’s petition as an example of the “courage, confidence and character” Girl Scouts looks to instill.
“We applaud the initiative taken by Emmy Nutting, one of our own young Girl Scouts from East Greenwich, to start a petition to get her point of view across,” said Stamps. “I look forward to having her come in so we can listen to her concerns in person. The mission of Girl Scouting is to build girls of courage, confidence and character and, clearly, Emmy is just such a girl!”