I’d be willing to bet, that most readers are going to at least initially view my comments as part of a gender discussion. That is understandable, because that is the context within which we have been talking about this issue over the past several decades.
I am hopeful that as we go along, many will join me in seeing this not as a gender issue, but as a human issue. It applies to all of us, and will help everyone if we can orchestrate building something new.
When we look back 40 years from now, I want the working women of today to be known for leaving a legacy. Much like we are doing today reflecting on what women have achieved thanks to the efforts of the leaders who passed Title IX, and began creating the possibility for women to have whatever jobs they wanted, I want the working women of today to be known for bringing forth the feminine by building new business structures. What I mean by bringing forth the feminine is operating in a way that is absent from most of the work structures most of us work in. There is an imbalance of the masculine and the feminine in today’s work structures, because the feminine perspective is mostly absent. Bringing forth the feminine will bring balance, for everyone. I believe women have a unique opportunity today to build business structures intentionally with a balance of the masculine and the feminine.
Someone asked me to describe what I mean by “the feminine”. I started with a list of things that for me during my 20+ years in corporate America have been mostly absent.
• A long-term perspective (decades — not months or quarters)
• Showing caring and loving kindness
• Being nurturing and inclusive
• Showing appreciation
• Concern for others
• A focus on the greater good
• Operating from love, not fear
Why?…my children. Recently, I realized I did not know any business structure that I would want my children to head off into and devote significant periods of their time. I’m not saying they don’t exist. I believe they do as currently hidden structures and I want us to find them and grow them. I want new structures with a balance of the masculine and feminine to be part of supporting those who want to live whole and complete lives instead of the culturally fed views many of us receive of what “having it all” looks like.
We are going to have to build these new businesses. So let’s get started.