Talking about the role of feminine in society, more specifically in the world of work, is by no means simple. What automatically comes to mind is the image of the suffragettes. We think of the ministry for equal opportunities, of the struggles for wage equality or of all those valid demands aimed at enhancing the role of women in professional environments. Often, in fact, the concept of woman and that of feminine are used as if they were interchangeable, while they have very different meanings: “feminine” is an attribute applicable to either sex. The issue is therefore complex, but at the same time very fascinating and current. Large multinational consulting firms such as McKinsey are tackling it, alongside Italian authors such as Silvia Zanella in her book “Il futuro del lavoro è femmina” (“The Future of Work is Female”). We have even seen the emergence of specific conferences and more and more companies are asking for support to build dedicated paths. This is therefore an article about the feminine side within companies and about the strategic role that, without doubt, it will play in 2022.
What are “feminine principles”?
The concept of feminine is certainly connected to the archetype of the mother, welcoming new life in her womb, giving birth to it, nourishing it, protecting it and helping it to grow until the new individual develops fully.
All the qualities that support and make this process possible, such as flexibility, open-mindedness, sharing and cooperation, listening and empathy, kindness, patience, inclusiveness, ability to care and to enter into relationships, confidence and dialogue make up the constellation of principles defined as feminine* (see image below).
Values of the Feminine and Masculine Economy created by sister.is
In the world of work, these qualities are often grouped together under the definition of soft skills but, as Simon Sinek suggests, it would be simpler to call them human skills. A superficial look would lead us to think that it is enough to follow a manual of techniques to acquire the abilities listed above, but there is more to them. The principle goes beyond technique because it includes the intention that underlies the action, filling it with meaning. This is why the path to developing feminine principles and applying them in companies starts by making contact with something deeper inside us.
When feminine goes beyond gender
As mentioned in the introduction, it is a mistake to associate feminine principles exclusively with the female sex. They can belong to both genders, it is just that for reasons that are more cultural than biological, they have become the prerogative of women. Every human being is made up of a feminine side and a masculine side and the evolution of each of us also calls for the ability to express both parts harmoniously.
Social conventions, religions and stereotypes have led many men to hide their feminine side for fear of being seen as weak, too sensitive, emotional and thus being referred to as “sissies”. But in a rapidly changing world of work, upset by momentous upheavals that have profoundly reconfigured the way in which we relate to clients and colleagues, we need people – men and women – who are more aware, in contact with every part of themselves and their emotions, able to express them adequately in different situations.
The more our “complete humanity” comes out in work environments as well, the more we will be able to attract and retain valuable relationships with the various market players.
The feminine side in companies
Androcentric culture in business organisations still dominates, where the stereotype of success is a human being “with balls”.
The events of recent years have, however, accelerated the changes and we can dare to say that a silent “gentle revolution” is underway.
To work in shared spaces, such as those which the new post-pandemic dynamics have forced us into, we need adaptability, tolerance, flexibility. All useful elements when it comes to finding a balance between personal and professional life.
Today, leadership also requires the ability to inspire confidence and to put oneself at the service of the organisation, knowing how to build relationships, even at a distance.
Giving ourselves a chance to get things wrong, to show ourselves as vulnerable and to learn from our mistakes are conditions that are now necessary in order to build a serene and productive working environment that attracts new resources. And again, finding the ability to trust our own feelings and intuition, going beyond the mere econometric dimension of the business, gives us the opportunity to capture the weak signals, so important in order to ride change and innovation in turbulent times.
Even the choice of the people who work with us cannot stop at the evaluation of CVs written as self-celebrations, but must aim to discover the qualities, the values driving the collaborators, bearing in mind that unconventional career paths are often most significant when it comes to forming skills.
From all this, feminine principles emerge as strategic elements for doing business in 2022 and for years to come.
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A feminine economy is not only possible but also desirable. After all, if we think about the etymology of the word economy itself, οἰκονομία, a composite word from οἶκος “home” and -νομία “manage” i.e. household management, we realise how this discipline is historically linked to the domain of feminine principles that have always found a place in the “home”.
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We at Passodue therefore hope you can rediscover your feminine side and feel welcomed wherever you are in your entirety. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
| partem claram semper aspice |
The photos used - where not owned by the editorial team or our guests - are purchased on Adobe Stock and IStockPhoto or downloaded from platforms such as UnSplash or Pexels.
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Passodue research on issues related to sales, marketing, ethics and the centrality of human beings within the market logic, officially started in 2012. The results derived from our work are described in the publications and in the books you can find in this section.
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