Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Women's Real Power at Work

Typically, the corporate world is still dominated by men with unexamined masculine attitudes and conditioning. Women within this subculture have essentially three choices about how they navigate any kind of success: adopt the prevailing masculinized practices, withdraw and betray themselves, or own their intrinsic value and take initiative. Authors Sally Helgessen and Julie Johnson shed light on the disparities between women's vision and men's within the business world, and they do so with insightful clarity, as well as substantial research and anecdotes. Still, the business world is merely representative of a greater and fundamental imbalance that exists in most societies: the absence of valuing the feminine experience. And for me, it is this larger message that this book delivers-albeit indirectly-that gets my passion aroused.

What is the feminine experience? Naturally, the answer is complex, but I think it's safe to begin by saying that the feminine intrinsically perceives the world as a relationship-oriented realm. When relationships are the lens through which reality-people and nature-is seen, this shifts everything that relates to meaning, values, vision, and action.

Many women are already redefining leadership and business across the globe, not by trying to change the existing power structures, but by reconstructing the power paradigm in local practices that have global reverberations. Thanks to such women, and women such as the authors of The Female Vision, we all benefit from their courage to cultivate a leadership of living as an interconnected community, united in the task of progressive social change.

"Addressing the complexities of our common future requires us to see the world from a full perspective, employing a wide lens as well as a sharp focus." The Female Vision is a must-read for both.

Julie Kay Clayton is a new consciousness literary editor, author, and reviewer.

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