Being a Woman is a Serious Business

The fact that continues to emerge is how much the world is changing and consequently how much business has to play catch up. Where do women fit in and how can feminine values come in, answer questions and solve problems? On last week’s episode of The Rise of the Feminine, a special feature from the WIN conference in Rome, we learned about the serious business of being a woman and the impact of women stepping into the big decisions of the corporate world.


Radio Guests Susan Schachterle, Keith Coats, Prof Nigel Nicholson and Dr Kaouthar Darmoni

Susan Schachterle – Women are not Aware of their Power

  • Women so often don’t even recognize that they carry power. They are conditioned to think of power in terms of how men demonstrate power but women carry a depth of wisdom and power that creates the foundation for any kind of success in business.
  • Women tend to be conditioned to think of power in terms of giant business deals or being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, very masculine power without beginning to realize that there is nothing weak about connecting, creating relationships and alliances and collaborating. There’s nothing weak about compassion, empathy and nurturing.

Gina Lazenby with Susan Schachterle in Rome, Italy, at the WIN conference

Keith Coats – Women are Natural for Tomorrow’s Leadership & They Can Ask the Right Questions

  • The emerging next economy is referred to as the connection economy or relation economy and this is going to be the first context that doesn’t only not prejudice women in leadership but favors women in leadership.
  • When you look at what it’s going to take to lead in the connection economy, it hinges on the ability to relate, to go over the far more instinctive feel, to have a lot of dexterity. Women generally have a far higher intuitive sense and ability in those areas.
  • One of the biggest challenges facing business is that it’s an understanding that strategy is no longer the leading jab or the driver, it has to be around culture.
  • If you’re talking about an adaptive organization, it’s not a strategic response, it’s a cultural response. When you look at what the ingredients of culture are that make up the business model, women are better equipped to lead in that domain.
  • Smart leaders today are leaders who frame great questions. Again, women are just more comfortable in that, of not needing to have the answers but are of hosting questions, of getting participants to discuss and share opinions. This is really important in politics but especially in corporations today.

Nigel Nicholson – When Women are Given the Choice to Lead, Some are Choosing Not To

  • The way we’ve created and structured the concept of leadership within organizational structures looks pretty poisonous to a lot of women who have leadership capability.
  • Women think they might have to forfeit their personal life, exercise remote authority, or work in a rule based performance driven culture that is always focusing on achievement and tasks of individuals and the like of teamwork and all these other things.
  • What women bring to the table is flexibility and adaptive leadership. It means you don’t try to be a man or a woman for all seasons but you’re ready to do what’s needed or to find somebody else who will do what you can’t do to make sure that the right things happen for the good of the common wealth.

Dr Kaouthar Darmoni – Reframing our Understanding of the Female Body

  • Women don’t dare to use to use their breasts because we think it’s sexual but men use it very well. When they want to be macho, they raise with their chest. Women should do the same as well, it’s a natural expression.
  • What happened in Western society which is very sad, is we internalized this male gaze on the female body. A male gaze which is also has been completely distorted by the culture of pornification. The body is important, not only to desexualize it but also to depornify it.
  • In these spaces, in my culture where come from where we are completely amongst women, we have this pure way of celebrating the female body in its most purest beautiful form as it is.

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Tune into The Rise of the Feminine every Monday at 9am PST/5pm London on Voice America.