There have been a lot of reminders. There was the paltry 6-month sentence Brock Turner received for raping a young woman and the accompanying letter from his father calling the event a mere "20 minutes of action." There was the eye opening post of An Ad Girl Interrupted outlining more than a decade of modern-day gender discrimination and misogyny in the cutting edge creative field of advertising. There are the reports telling us that of nearly 800,000 people sold into slavery through human trafficking, 80% are female. And, of course, there are the countless magazine covers perpetuating a singular and superficial standard of beauty at every turn.
The reminders are plentiful. And they are clear. Even in this modern day, women of this planet are still very much seen as objects to be ogled at and preyed upon. And while we may be tolerated in the workplace, the truth is we have yet to be truly celebrated.
Perhaps if our male dominated industries, governments and organizations had a better understanding of just what it is the brand known as Woman brings to the table, the paradigm might authentically, and at long last permanently, shift.
The feminine principle is more than a gender role. It is an energetic. And if you look a little closer, you'll see that OS Female is at play throughout the business world in some of the most game-changing trends and success-building dynamics out there.
It is an ultimate irony. The very qualities that have categorized women as unfit for the cutthroat corporate arena are the ones that are making our business world and our economy strong.
Let's start with our defining feature: The womb. Described by the dictionary as a place of origination and development. Origination. Development. Name me a business that can succeed without such things.
The womb is not just an anatomical place where human conception takes place. It is the energetic environment of the imagination - that dark, unknown and utterly private space where ideas are conceived. Ideas that are giving birth to new ways of raising food, treating disease, protecting our environment, safeguarding our water, and the list goes on. The creative power of the womb is alive and well in businesses far and wide. Although, it often goes by the alias of Innovation. Something no businessman worth his salt would dream of undermining in an organization.
Many other core characteristics of women have been called into question. Our tendencies to be emotional, and nurturing, and tender. All deemed inappropriate for the business arena. But are they? Upon closer look, it seems to me that each and every one of these qualities is the driving force behind business success worldwide.
Let's break it down, shall we?
EMOTIONAL: Women are told, ad nauseam, in ways both directly demeaning and subliminally undermining, that we are too emotional. That our willingness to invest ourselves on the deepest levels of feeling is a weakness. Remember the infamous line from the movie, A League of Their Own: "There's no crying in baseball." Well, with all due respect to Tom Hanks' character Jimmy Dugan, there is if people give a damn. We have all seen Olympic athletes, some of the strongest and most accomplished humans walking the planet, break down in tears over winning and losing. Their events, just like our business meetings and pitches, are the culmination of their life's work and their opportunity to show the world their greatness. How can being deeply invested in something like that ever be considered a weakness? Passion is one of the deepest, most unreasonable emotional states on the planet, and it can bring about levels of success the reasonable mind wouldn't dare to dream possible.
NURTURING: Defined as the ability to encourage the growth or development of something. Growth and development are the north stars of the business world. They are like oxygen - no company is going to survive without them. As leaders, we must grow profit, grow opportunity, and grow talent. The human resource is an organization's most valuable resource. And among the top trends in successful businesses today are programs that nurture their workforce. Corporate wellness programs. Corporate mindfulness programs. Company mentorship programs. All forms of nurturing. Companies that lack the feminine ability to nurture are shooting themselves in the foot multiple times. Not only are they are leaving a wealth of human and business potential on the table, they experience higher turnover and the significant costs associated with them. Mothers may tap into their ability to nurture to raise children, but businesses are professionally raising the next generation of Corporate America. And, with 87% of millennials looking for job opportunities that offer personal development, this decidedly female characteristic is actually what is called a competitive edge.
TENDER: Yes indeed, we women are tenderhearted. Hard wired into our beings is the innate tendency to show concern for others. And never in the history of business has this been more at the forefront than in today's economy. Corporate Social Responsibility is defined by the concern a company shows for the world. Social Impact is measured in the tangible results of that concern. Indeed, the entire Purpose Economy orbits around it. From customer loyalty to setting price points to attracting investors, businesses that are showing a little TLC for this planet and the people on it are outperforming traditional businesses.
It has been said that behind every great man there is a woman. When looking at the female energetics driving the success of so many aspects of the male dominated operating systems at play in our world, I would have to say the Patriarchy is no exception to this.