Female leaders and the importance of a woman’s importance
When it comes to business and the corporate world, in spite of the many more senior executive female leaders there are these days, with male partners now accompanying their higher earning wives to events, how come we’re still finding this gender-changing scenario ‘taking us by surprise’?
I was talking with our CEO the other day and asked her what it was like being the female CEO of a company in a largely male dominated area. She said when she goes to functions and her husband accompanies her, it’s always her husband who is addressed (assumed) as being the CEO. And he always redirects these enquiries to his wife saying: “You’ll have to talk to Sheila about that – I’m not in the business”.
How greatly does this not too uncommon or unusual scenario highlight the default psyche or unconscious bias of many men and women about the importance and role of women in business? What about for example when someone talks about going to the doctor . . . “What did he say was wrong with you?” And equally with teaching, nursing or secretarial work, very often it’s assumed the person in these and to a degree perceived ‘lesser’ roles is female; that the more ‘powerful’ positions or those with ‘status’ is male.
Let’s also consider here the infamous and much talked-about ‘pay-gap’, where no matter the actual figure earned or profession, i.e. whether a multi-million dollar actress, office worker, or CEO . . . the amount of inequality in pay and compensation for the same or equivalent job still exists globally in the subconscious minds and realities of payrolls across every industry and profession. Nothing new of course, and except for some minor attention by press and activists, this subject continues to be globally accepted as ‘the way it is’, with The World Economic Forum believing it will take another 118 years – or up to 2133, until the global pay gap between men and women is finally closed – though hats off to Iceland leading the world-first front in now making it illegal to pay men more than women. And, despite the many female equality achievements delivered in our history, the absence of the presence and valued importance of women in business – and no less the true power that women bring as women – remains grossly underrated by both sexes.
When the most valued currency in the working world is maleness, the dollar of femaleness is automatically devalued, and sight of the invaluable worth of the currency a woman does bring in virtue of her quality is immediately vanquished or lost, to the detriment of all.
Our business, governments and institutions are all the poorer for this market driven reality, though both genders have created this male demand and favoured above all else male-like quality, to make it that the demand for women and their female quality in the halls of power remains virtually non-existent at worst, and cosmetic at best: the token woman on the board for example, instead of the required, equally paid and equally valued woman as her male counterpart.
Typically the reality today is that women are rarely seen as holding or having the ‘serious roles’ in business . . . and rather are still behind the men who supposedly do, following, supporting or imitating them over leading. Or that when they do clinch the top job as female leaders, it is her ‘hardness’ ‘toughness’, ‘harshness’, ‘aloofness’, ‘career bitch-style’, ‘ball-breaker attitude’ or ‘ice-queen approach’ – effectively her 'maleness' or male-like qualities – that tend to become a way to win respect, command power, even to be feared in typical male-dominated boardrooms and corporate and office hierarchies. Which brings us onto the ‘Female CEO’ where, according to The Guardian’s report "among the chief executives and chairs of FTSE 100 companies, seven are female bosses."
So does this statistic relate to a question of technical skill, competence and or confidence, or does it relate to an image embedded by some pictured ideal about who or which gender does what role in business?
For instance, as women, is there ever an unconscious thought or aspiration that instead of us being the CEO/senior female leader, marrying one instead is more preferable, even a desire with which we then measure our own ‘success in life' . . . elevating by association and proximity rather than by direct means?
Any which way, when considering a woman’s importance, her credence, power, validity and acceptance of her female quality are often seated through association of some sort, be that with a powerful man or partner, her job or position she holds, or what she does/accomplishes, for example as a ‘CEO/female leader’.
So in considering the importance of a woman in business, where does her true power and confidence lay irrespective of any such external measures of job title, position, salary, wittiness or cleverness, physical presentation, beauty, family surname, or academic education that she (or indeed her partner) may hold? Because so long as external and identifiable measures of power are held, the true power and femaleness quality of a woman goes unnoted, dismissed even, in spite of the well-known saying: 'Behind every successful man is a great woman.'
Indeed, ‘behind every great man is a great woman’ and more so she’s standing gracefully right beside as an equal in the equality stakes, though what exactly is her greatness that so often is blocked?
With understanding, there is something that we are allowing that begins with us in how we hold ourselves in life, as a woman.
Immersed with self-digested pictured ideals and beliefs, such images work to prevent and block a more true sense of a woman’s worth and true greatness being felt within the body, and from here, lived.
Instead, life is travelled filling up the space with externally held measures of worth, and so rarely with the sense of any true greatness and worth, which means without such time for awareness we’re going to find appreciation of ourselves that much more difficult . . . perhaps for some even more than asking for a raise or promotion, though in truth, what is a promotion or the clinching of a senior job without the essence of self-appreciation to ground or anchor oneself and one’s worth first?
"Women need to feel and honour who they truly are and not define themselves by ‘we can do anything’."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 543
And as with our greatness, what about appreciation, and what exactly we are appreciating about ourselves – the job we do, promotion we’ve won for instance, the ‘anything’ we just proved we could do, or more who we are and the true female qualities we bring to our lives that touch our job or position, that industry or service?
Uncovering an appreciation for ourselves tied not by what we ‘do or accomplish’ but instead by the innately held yet so often long-forgotten female qualities we bring, like our attuned sixth sense or knowing, the delicateness of our touch, awareness, poise and presence from the quality of stillness, our femaleness, nurturing tenderness and inviting warmth, make up a whole quality of being as a Woman and a leader that is sacred and invaluable. Non-negotiable. It’s what kick-starts a woman's worth that’s solid and unshakeable. One which blossoms self-sufficiency through the way we live and how we work or lead as a woman – with a self-love and love that brings natural authority, credibility, true power and confidence to inspire, especially other women when it comes to female leader role-models.
"Women must rekindle their own rhythms within society and not let society demand of them what is not natural to their body."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 526
When we start to become aware of the many accepted and unauthentic ways of being that are projected through media and advertising, that sow seeds of self-doubt or dish up exhausting plates of low worth or confidence to trust – space opens up for true appreciation and greatness. The connection we have with ourselves as a woman and our own female body is important to make the importance of a woman’s importance confirmed, by the worth she holds within her body, that shapes her truer self – to truly be a woman in what is currently, by our collective legacy, still a man’s world.
And so, whether a mother, wife, partner, daughter, office worker, female leader or CEO, a woman’s true worth is a reflection and an expression of what is already held within herself, and is lived in deep self-appreciation regardless of how the world views women.
If what is held within is cherished love, deep respect and care, then so too is this the basis of a woman’s worth and her natural self-importance at work, how she does business, leads corporations, or equally importantly runs a home.
The importance of a woman’s importance is something never to be dismissed, compromised, and most absolutely worth seeking out, inviting into work spaces on every level – and equally paying for too.
Femaleness and maleness
Maleness and Femaleness are two important and misunderstood words that have nothing to do with gender.