Many women have climbed to the top of corporations and politics but some are still doing it playing the old game, the masculine way – playing down their feminine values to get to the top. Fitting into the existing system and mirroring masculine traits to ‘win’.
Luckily times are changing and a new breed of female leaders and change makers are emerging. These are women who ask nobody’s permission to show up exactly as they are. They are women who are embracing feminine qualities and values: collaboration, empathy, connection to nature, protecting and nurturing life.
DrivenWoman champions the authenticity of every woman. We believe when women are given the space to express their inherit qualities and thrive, the world will change for the better. We compiled this list to showcase extraordinary women who are leading the way and wanted to highlight women who are showing strength in the feminine way. They are not always the loudest, the richest or the ones getting the most clicks. We believe we need to view the world through a new lens and find role models that are not only about ‘external success.’ Standing by your values is the greatest act of strength you can show these days.
Please add to the comments women you think should be on the list!
Feminine as the protector of nature
Nature thrives through its cycles and so does a woman. Nature is constantly re-creating itself through birth, life and death, just like the feminine – cyclical in character. Nurturing is a key feminine value and its purpose is to protect and create life.
Autumn Peltier is a 13 year old Canadian, Anishinaabe-kwe, a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation and an internationally recognised advocate for clean water. She is a water protector and has been called a “water warrior.”
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist focused on climate emergency. In August 2018, when she was 15, Thunberg took time off school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament, holding up a sign calling for stronger climate action. “Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.” she said in her address to the UN in New York.
Empathy as a core feminine value
“Empathy fuels connection” says Brené Brown. The feminine is the connection to Mother Earth and to the truth in the present moment. Empathy is the gateway to expressing that truth. Without any need for superiority or hierarchy, empathy is one of the core values of the feminine.
Brené Brown is research professor at the University of Houston and author of many best selling books such as Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead. Her research focuses on shame and vulnerability. She believes that you have to walk through vulnerability to get to courage. She explains that ’empathy is about feeling with someone’, which is illustrated in this brilliant video.
Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s Prime Minister. She was 37 when she entered office in 2017. She gave birth in 2018 and took her baby to UN general assembly. After the shootings in Christchurch, Ardern received international praise for her response to the shootings. She pledged to change the gun laws within days of the shooting. She was one of fifteen women selected to appear on the cover of the September 2019 issue of British Vogue ‘Forces For Change‘, by guest editor Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
The feminine has a desire for truth
The feminine is the connection to renewal and it is willing to face the reality here and now. It grows from truth of the present moment awareness and refuses to listen to inflated stories of alpha males or ‘pie in the sky’ scenarios. The feminine is courageous to see and hear what is. It doesn’t need masks or sugar-coating the reality. The feminine feels secure to make choices in the present moment awareness.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez often referred to by her initials, AOC, is an American politician and activist who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. She is a true protector of the truth.
Gina Miller has been at the forefront of two key legal battles over Brexit – the fight to get MPs to vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU, and the challenge to the government’s decision to suspend Parliament before the Brexit deadline.
Feminine moves from hierarchy to connection
The current masculine code is based on order of command and you will find internal rankings even in the most non-hierarchical organisations where one assumes that the other person is wiser, richer or better for what ever reason. The feminine doesn’t ‘rank’ people and is open to welcome everyone as their equal, no matter what their external position is in the world. Where the masculine holds onto a hierarchical world view, the feminine shows the power of connection between all humans.
Michelle Obama, the former First Lady gets a spot on our list for showing vulnerability in her book Becoming. She opens the door to all women to connect with her by sharing her struggles.
Women refusing to be silenced
Women’s sexuality has been used as a weapon to shame and abuse women for centuries. Shaming our sexuality disconnects women from our feminine power. But when the feminine rises, women refuse to be silenced.
Nadia Murad was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for her refusal to “accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected.” She escaped from an ISIS camp and became a global figure in the human rights movement.
Tarana Burke created the #MeToo movement in 2006 when she started using the hashtag to raise the awareness of sexual abuse and harassment. In 2015 Ambra Gutierrez had reported Harvey Weinstein to the police for inappropriately touching her. When the investigation became public, tabloids published negative stories about Gutierrez that portrayed her as an opportunist. And in 2017 Alyssa Milano encouraged women to post #MeToo if they had been sexually assaulted. “If all the women who have ever been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, then we give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
Feminine intuition as a value
The feminine possesses a deep knowing and intuition that can not always be backed up by science or numbers at the time of decision making. This stems from being connected to the ‘order of things’ – the nature and the present moment truth.
Mary Portas talks about the importance of shifting towards a more feminine approach in the workplace in her book ‘Work Like A Woman‘. In the world where the masculine code is distant from emotions and sensitivity, Portas, relies on the power of intuition. At Harvey Nichols, her workplace, by trusting her intuition she was successful over the company’s competitors and her intuitions were in constant clash with the norm: focus on numbers and statistics.
Feminine is putting wellbeing first
The masculine code has taught us that if things are not going our way we should simply push more and work harder. The weak take a break or ask for help! But our lives are no longer about winning wars or hunting for survival. Our lives are about thriving and that’s what the feminine is all about.
Arianna Huffington is a prime example of a woman who went from following a very masculine strategy for success to embracing the feminine way. In 2007 she was working 18-hour days to turn The Huffington Post into a media powerhouse before she collapsed from sleep deprivation and exhaustion and broke her cheekbone and woke up in a pool of blood. She’s now a sleep evangelist and has written two books on the topic (Thrive and The Sleep Revolution) and founded Thrive Global.
The feminine does things with joy
Over time we were taught to be serious and proper, laughter was seen as silly and not convincing. Facts would rule and emotion should be hidden as deep as possible. These women are bringing joy and delight of creation into the centre of what they are doing.
Reese Witherspoon strikes us as unpretentiously joyful, a quality that is reflected in her production company Hello Sunshine, a media brand anchored in storytelling, creating and discovering content that celebrates women and puts them at the centre of the story.
Feminine thrives in sisterhood
The masculine worships solidarity, heroes and puts people on a pedestal. We are used to worshipping celebrities and super humans that act like gods. The feminine thrives from sisterhood and recognises that there’s deep wisdom that can only be found in a collective experience, your tribe, your sisterhood.
Kristin Engvig is the founder and CEO of WIN & WINConference. She’s passionate about inspiring each and everyone’s natural being, creative expression and unique contribution and is holistically integrating feminine values to balance masculine qualities typically dominating business and politics.
Shelley Zalis is the “chief troublemaker” & founder of The Female Quotient, a pioneer for online research. She is a movement leader and champion of gender equality. We met Shelley in the World Economic Forum in Davos at her ‘Equality Lounge’ and were impressed how she’s created a movement around the ‘power of the pack’.
It’s time to start raising our collective awareness and celebrating not only women who succeed, but women who do it in an authentically feminine way. These are the women who are really changing things, embracing their full power and creating a better world for us all. We hope you find an inspiring feminine role model from our list!
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