Written by Avani Patel
In a world that continues to embrace the over-masculinized traits, how do you balance it with the feminine?
We were not born this way. As babies and young toddlers, we had no idea what gender roles were. But as we got older, society, parents and other influential people, knowingly or unknowingly, taught us what it meant to be a girl or a boy.
As girls, we first realized that we had to hide our feminine nature when we started school. It became apparent that more masculine traits such as competition, strength (mental/physical) and achievement were more rewarded so we learned to suppress many of our feminine characteristics.
Then after school, we join the workforce where it becomes even more apparent that masculine expression is revered. We are told not to ever let anyone see us cry. Or to learn to not show any emotions. And to dress “appropriately” (which means more conservative) so that we are taken more seriously. We are told to be assertive but not too aggressive as to not be labeled a B&@$H. All of these statements taught us that we must continue to conform to the norms of society and business in order to succeed.
However, there are so many femine qualities missing in the professional environment. Here are a few examples:
Creativity: By encouraging outside-the-box thinking, an employee feels safe to present new ideas and perspectives to their peers and leaders. This is how an organization can continue to grow and differentiateand evolve themselves from their competition.
Collaboration: Instead of using the word “I”, switching it to “we”. This removes the heavy competitivenessof some work environments and helps create an atmosphere where employees want to work with each other, instead of against each other. Rather than only looking at an individual’s contributions, the company can also view the team’s performance, where each individual can use their strengths for the betterment of the team and the company as a whole. In a competitive environment, one feels a sense of isolation and disbelief, whereas a collaborative team environment fosters belonging and trust.
Intuition: Most companies rely solely on data when it comes to decision-making. When it’s combined with intuition, a company can move forward in a way that is supported through trust and certainty. Intuition allows for the individual to use their gut instincts when something seems off and needs further review. It also lessens the time for over-thinking and excessive deliberation.
Nurturing: This is done at the employee level. Because when you can nurture the people within an organization and continue to develop them based on their unique skills and talents, they will know they working for a company that truly appreciates them. They become passionate about the company and its products/services. Nurturing your employees affects employee retention, customer service and sales at far more sustainable level.
Femininity should not be seen as weakness in business but a strength. When combined with masculine strengths, a company can foster the growth of their employees with wholeness. An employee then knows that they are truly seen for who they are and not a version of themselves that was created to succeed in their workplace. One can be confident to be who they are whether it be at the office, home or elsewhere.
As humans, each individual has incredibly unique qualities that should be recognized, not suppressed. Balancing both feminine and masculine quality is a powerful union that can help us reach our full potential professionally and personally.
About the author:
Avani is a leading Life + leadership coach who empowers high-achieving professional women who are tired of the burnout and overwhelm so that they can maximize more balance, time, and success in their lives.
During her 14 years in the tech industry, Avani experienced serious burnout trying to balance her thriving career, home responsibilities, and personal needs. The corporate grind kept her in a constant cycle of struggle and exhaustion. Until she decided that she wanted to end this destructive pattern for good. She was able to figure out a way that she could continue to grow in her career, spend quality time being present with her family, and incorporate healthy mindset practices. Discovering this new way to approach life left her more energized, fulfilled, and deeply connected to her most authentic self.
Avani is also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and uses these techniques along with coaching to deliver powerful results for her clients. This unique approach provides deep and long-lasting transformation while supporting career-driven women to uplevel all aspects of their lives.
During her free time, Avani enjoys spending her time with her family which consists of her husband of 20 years and her twin teen boys. She is a foodie at heart, loves to read and try new activities. When alone, you can find her meditating, writing or listening to podcasts.