Ellen Langas is the author of the Girls Know How series of books that encourage tween readers to explore and pursue the careers of their dreams. Check out her website at girlsknowhow.com

R: How did Girls Know How get started? What gave you the idea for it?

E: When I was young, there were few female role models who held career leadership positions. I had trouble imagining myself in a variety of roles. Even though I was an honors student, my parents and teachers didn’t encourage me to explore careers.  Fortunately, a teacher saw my potential and encouraged me to consider career options and develop skills and attitudes that would serve me well in the workplace. As my career in marketing unfolded, I wanted to pay that encouragement forward. I realized how encouragement by just one person could change a life. When my daughters Stephanie and Veronica were young, they loved chapter books, and that’s when I realized that books would  an ideal way to introduce a variety of career opportunities in a fun way, creating characters and situations that girls could identify with.


R: Can you tell us about your books and/or give an example or summary of one of them in particular? What is the purpose of them? How do they inspire young girls?

E: The Girls Know How series encourages girls to explore and pursue the careers of their dreams. My latest book, Super Science Girls! explores the exciting world of science through the eyes of Sylvia and her best friend Kristen, who dream of winning the middle school science fair competition together. That is until Indra, the new “it” girl at school, tries to win Kristen’s friendship and undermine their plans. Sylvia finds herself on the outside looking in as Kristen gets swept up into Indra’s cool world of fashion and friends. She discovers that sometimes things aren’t what they seem, as she learns the rewards of perseverance, the meaning of friendship and that being true to oneself is more important than winning. In addition, the book introduces experiments, the scientific method, women in science, plus activities and Girls Want to Know interviews. Each book includes a character based on a real-life role model. In Super Science Girls, one of the characters is based on a young science enthusiast who started an online maker show at the age of eight! Other books in the series introduce journalism, construction, and teaching. Books can be ordered, and free activity sheets can be downloaded, at girlsknowhow.com.


R: What did you do prior to starting your company?

E: I’ve spent my entire career in the marketing and communications field, and am an entrepreneur at heart. I had the good fortune of working at QVC, Inc. during its start-up. I began as an on-air program host and later became an officer of the company. It was exciting to have a hand in building a company with a team. My experience there was the perfect springboard to start my own company, NouSoma Communications, a public relations and branding company. Among our wide variety of clients, we have attracted many companies and brands that share our philosophy of supporting girls and women to pursue their unique goals. Having my own company has given me the flexibility to develop Girls Know How, which is my passion.


R: What are some of your future goals?

E: Through my company and book series, I hope to continue to provide inspiration, encouragement, and opportunity for girls and women to realize their dreams. For Girls Know How, I hope to expand our relationships with schools and organizations by providing career adventure workshops. I look forward to expanding my role as a youth career education advocate and writing more books for the series. I love to hear from girls to learn what careers they want to read and learn about next. I also hope to produce Girls Know How stories for video, TV or Internet. In my career, I look forward to learning more about digital technology innovations, and personally, I’d like to carve out a little more time for exercise and playing the piano.


R: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

E: I remember playing very creatively, setting up pretend restaurants, shops, and offices. I’m sure my mother cringed at the mess I would make, but I loved creating elaborate settings with whatever I could find. I could play for hours. I’m sure that was the beginning of my entrepreneurial spirit. I also loved to perform and organize home-spun shows. I think play is a wonderful way to spark imagination.


R: What advice do you have for the girls that are reading this article?

E: It’s never too early to consider what you want to pursue as a career. I recommend exploring whatever interests you.  Some tips include:

  • Read about fields that interest you. Interview or job-shadow people who work in the field and absorb as much as you can.
  • It’s important to start developing the skills that you will eventually need in the workplace. Good time management, communication, teamwork, leadership, and organizational skills will help you on the job and in every-day life.
  • There are plenty of ways you can develop skills at any age such as working at a part-time job, volunteering with a non-profit organization, taking a leadership role in a club, joining a sports team, helping with household chores, job-shadowing, and even starting your own entrepreneurial venture.

I want all girls to know that with hard work, perseverance and passion, they can achieve anything to which they set their minds.



RELATEMAG.COM is a web site for girls between the ages of 12-23 dedicated to encourage, motivate, inspire…committed to bring teens to a higher level of self-esteem and focusing on real teens that are making a difference in the world.