As you know, I’m an advocate for the new movement of feminine leadership, grounded in principles of returning to nature and the body. At the same time, the women I work with have full time jobs and are working in systems and industries that are way behind on this kind of thinking. These systems are disconnected from nature’s cycles. They also could care less about how and when your body is most productive, because they have a deadline to meet, investors to pay back, and they’ve been designed to support the kind of linear thinking and hormonal rhythms of men.
But I don’t want to be another one of those coaches who basically encourages you to leave the system, because it’s not most aligned with your feminine soul. I just find it impractical. Plus, I do believe we still need women working on co-creating the future and changing the power structures from within.
More importantly, women can find fulfilling work within male dominated industries like tech and finance, but it isn’t easy and it takes time. Here are three principles that have really helped with this:
Small daily actions make a big difference
One of the most revolutionary realizations I’ve had these last few years is the power of small. With women who work full-time and who have trouble expressing themselves completely at work, I always start with rituals. What are the morning and evening rituals you can do before and after work that support you? This is the portion you can fully take responsibility for. What are small changes in your environment you can make so that you feel more aligned? Maybe it’s buying beautiful flowers for your desk, or requesting a vitamix at the office. Whatever it is, make it happen.
You can find a good culture fit, but it takes time
There are some companies and experiences who are designed by men (God bless em’) who are completely unaware of how women need to be supported. They are pushing hard, competitive, high consistent input, with very little recharge. However, there are other companies that have a greater clue. I think about companies like Asana which were started by highly sensitive yogi types (hence the name Asana, which means yoga posture) who did their best to preserve a free-spirited culture including fresh food and in-house yoga, but also flexible work schedules. Women are attracted to greater flexibility. Why? Because we aren’t straight lines of testosterone. We have most productive times of the day, but also most productive times of the week and month (read the Woman Code if you haven’t already). The cost of a woman who doesn’t take care of herself is high. A company culture that is flexible and supports the health and wellbeing of women is key.
You can lead changes within the system
Part of our role as women is initiating and educating men about our needs. I know so many men who want to understand how to design systems that support women but don’t know how or where to even begin. I find that opening up dialogue and communication between men and women around this issue is important. Part of it is leading by example and communicating your own needs as a woman in the workplace: what do you need to thrive. What boundaries do you need to set? This takes self-monitoring, full acceptance of your needs and desires (without guilt), and a clear communication of those needs and desires. Just like many religious folks have holidays because of their religious identity, speak up about your gender identity needs. If the place you work in can’t handle that kind of conversation, then it might be time for you to move on.
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