“A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow as abundantly as her laughter. She is both soft and powerful—practical and spiritual. In her essence, a strong woman is a gift to the world.” Anonymous
Vulnerability is Strength
As a civilization, we are constantly told that “only the strong survive” and that we need to be bigger, better, faster and “more” to make it. We have been force-fed the notion that all of us—male and female—need to “tough it out”, rather than show tenderness. But what if this isn’t true? What if the only thing that could save us as a society—and transform our lives—is reconnecting with our vulnerability? What if embracing warmth, femininity, and openness is exactly what we need to heal our deep hurts and move into a beautifully diverse and peaceful world?
Femininity is Power
Women are intelligent: They are beautiful, powerful, and collaborative. Given the severity of challenges confronting our global society—poverty, mental illness, addiction, conflict, pollution—we can no longer afford to leave half our resources on the sidelines. We need to put all of our cards on the table. We must empower females to lead in a different way. Women must embrace their unique strengths. We must learn to see vulnerability and openness as powerful allies in our quest for meaningful connection and understanding. Perhaps we should place value on different traits as a society. Perhaps we should change the way we view femininity.
Representation of Women
We’ve come a long way since the days of defined gender roles. But all of that progress is not being fully realized. Women are significantly outnumbered. We are under-represented in the chambers of parliaments, provincial councils, and, more often than not, missing from the negotiating tables where conflicts are to be resolved. Women make up half of the global population, but hold less than one fifth of positions in national governments. Females hold a mere 9.4% of board directorships and only 20% of senior management positions globally. This imbalance of resources is to society's detriment. Where we have diversity of thought—diversity of leadership styles—we are all better governed. Our goals of peace and prosperity are more achievable when our full talent is contributing.
Leadership is Changing
Domination as a leadership style is becoming less and less admired. There is a new growing appreciation for the traits that women possess. We keep families together. We are power-houses at work. We nurture and collaborate and care. Nurturance and openness and ‘doing good’ are not only admiral traits, but tendencies that are needed to affect lasting change. Feminine power means uniting friends, allies, and adversaries to build collaborative solutions—to build shared understanding. Access to a leadership role is not my entitlement as a woman; it is my responsibility as a global citizen to show up, to have a voice, to contribute my time and talents in service of society.
The Future is Bright
I want my children and grandchildren to live in a world with true diversity of thought, where leaders reflect and represent all of humanity. I want them to live in a world where vulnerability, collaboration, openness, and tenderness are traits that are praised above all else—above competition, above performance, above winning, above “being right.” Looking through the lens of the future, I see emotionally and spiritually conscious individuals—those who feel called to put the greater good above their own needs. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet. Let’s get to work, shall we?