Helen Walbey: A Beacon of Feminine Leadership in a Male-Dominated Field


A woman working and running a business in a male-dominated field is usually met with the expectation that she has to take on masculine leadership traits and prove herself to be “one of the boys” to succeed. Founder and owner of Recycle Scooters believes in the power of feminine leadership and she has instilled those values in the operations and culture of her business. She has found that this adds value to her business and gets the best out of every member of the team.

She Invests in Relationships with People

“I do business differently.  I am much happier to pay someone perhaps a little bit more rather than get the absolute cut-throat deal to be able to establish a good relationship with them.”

She Builds a Positive Bond

“A lot of the time it is just about touching base, finding out how their business is going, saying hi, and that establishes that positive bond and instead of doing that very male, “what are you going to do for me / what am I going to do for you?” It’s about that much more feminine idea of building those bridges and establishing those links.”

She Respects Family

“My office administrator is a single mum and I have had her poorly kids in work all tucked up under a duvet because they were ill and she wanted to come in to work so we made a place in the unit that is safe where they can go and we have had the kids come in after school because there wasn’t anyone to look after them. It’s about finding that balance. Now if I was stereotypical I probably wouldn’t be prepared to do that but it is about understanding that if I give the best I can to my employees, I get the best that my employees can give.”

She Values People and Thinks of the Whole Person

“If you have one unhappy cog, then none of the rest of the cogs are going to work as well so even if you take away all of the holistic side, even if you take away all of the feminine principle side, and you just want to be ruthless about it, financially it makes much more common sense for me to look after my staff in an appropriate way because it means my business is going to run more efficiently.”



The Opportunities Soft Power Presents for Women

Soft power isn’t a new concept, but with the changes society has faced in the last two decades – it has taken on a different form. Soft Power has become a necessary solution to global conflict and a crucial skill in sales and business. As it garners more interest, women are presented with an opportunity to thrive, because soft power is so closely in line with the way we naturally interact with the world and make an impact.


Women are driven by connectivity and empathy. These fit right in with the definition of soft power. Hard power, on the other hand leans on a level of disconnect and distance. Sympathy and empathy are considered to be more feminine qualities because they require an emotional connection. Innately, women seek emotional connection and a sense of community. Indra Adnan says, “right from an early age, young women start to depend on relationships as the thing that they need to cultivate to have influence rather than hard power.” We’re taught to engage with the world and other people, seeking an exchange of understanding and a mutual openness which serve what we aim to get out of our lives socially and professionally.

Sales and marketing have shifted away from the “sell, sell, sell” model, towards a culture of building relationships and encouraging dialogue. Deals aren’t closed at the very first interaction – both sides have to understand each other and build trust. This is impossible in a culture that’s driven by numbers, as masculine leadership tends to be. Soft power is built on sharing values and focusing more on the personal – so names over numbers prevail in within that field.

When you move into soft power you’re opening dialogue and creating what Adnan calls a “corridor of influence” where the need for mutual benefit guides the actions taken. This becomes necessary when the world faces conflicts and issues that need a special grasp to produce lasting solutions. Soft power is the ability to solve problems without using force and rather relying on open dialogue. It’s taking a diplomatic route before a military action, choosing to use the power of conversation before taking a hard-handed approach. The benefit of this? It creates solutions with lasting positive impacts. Dropping a bomb can solve the immediate problem but the devastation that it would leave behind would make that victory hollow. Taking a soft power approach means connecting with that community and finding a solution that still puts their needs at the top of the lost of priorities.

Soft power also depends on openness and self-understanding. It’s being so comfortable in your individuality that you can be open to someone else’s. Openness is the beginning of successful dialogue and conversation. Women are able to achieve openness by understanding the value of learning from someone else. We’re open because it’s necessary if we want to build strong and lasting relationships and because people are more likely to share their humanity with us in a positive space, where they feel heard and valued.

Rise of the Feminine Episode 5 Radio: Gender Economics and Feminine Vision to Action

Next week Monday, we take a look at Gender Economics, the contributions to society made by women, and the role that international policy-making organisations play in the process between vision and action.

Gina Lazenby’s first guest is lecturer and international public speaker Africa Zanella. She is also the CEO and founder of the Centre for Sustainability and Gender Economics. Her passion is sustainability, gender equality and its connection to economic growth. She’s based in Spain but works all over the world developing programs, and implementing change that supports sustainable growth that positively  impacts women. She’s also a member of the Green Learning Economy and is involved with Climate change and G20 expert review committees.

The Country Report takes us to Cape Town, South Africa where we meet Madelein Mkunu and hear about how visionary women are stepping forward with initiatives to rebuild the country. We’ll discover that women’s contribution to uplifting the continent is so much more about buildings than it is about bangles and beads.

Finally the One Woman feature is on grandmother and retired guesthouse owner, Valerie Humphreys. She returned from an adventure holiday with an unexpected project – sponsoring a porter in Uganda in his quest to be a medical doctor.

Our guests reveal the important strides women are making to empower communities and the important economic contributions their initiatives and organisations are making. It’s inspiring to see this leadership in action and hear the stories of these real life heroines! Don’t miss this episode this Monday 9am PST/5pm BST. You can tune in on VoiceAmerica or listen to the podcast on iTunes. In the meantime, join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or email

Indra Adnan’s Key Insights on Soft Power

Examining the qualities of feminine leadership requires us to explore power, how it is expressed and it’s outcomes. It inevitably results in the need to draw parallels between hard power and soft power. The latter is a quality attributed to modern leaders, who are tuned into what really inspires progress and change, according to how they face challenges and provide solutions for global issues. The first step to understanding what soft power is, is having clarity on how technology has reshaped and redefined it. Soft power, according to Indra Adnan, doesn’t exist in the same context it did when it was coined by Joseph Nye in the 1980s. “We’re in the middle of a revolution of connectivity. It’s no longer the state handing information down. Now the information travels horizontally as much as it does vertically. That’s why soft power now has quite a different meaning than it did in the days of Joseph Nye.”


Soft power’s abilities and qualities have become more necessary as the world continues to evolve. “It would be good if we think about soft power as the way to solve problems first before we move on to hard power.” Because it allows for open dialogue, a real understanding of the needs of people and shapes the space for action, soft power serves a fundamental purpose in conflicts, international relations and business. Indra also provided 3 key insights that define and reflect soft power.

Soft Power is the Ability to Connect and Build Relationships

Soft power begins when you are connecting with people. You might think from the way I described it that it’s really marketing or propaganda or something. But actually it’s the ability to form relationships with people. Hard power depends on a certain level of disconnect. You can shape things with money through the power of disconnecting from them. 

Soft Power is the Ability to Solve through Influence and Not Force 

What’s stronger? The stone, the scissor or the paper? The paper is the soft power so the stone is the hard power. It has some kind of effect but paper wraps stone.

Soft Power is the Ability to Solve Problems the Sustainable Way 

While hard power solutions may appear to fix the problem, they don’t fix them for long. They are very temporary solutions. So you might drop a bomb, a drone might take out a group of terrorists, but the effects on the grounds are horrendous. Hard power rarely creates permanent solutions. Soft power, at least, is based on relationships and engagement, so it has the possibility of transcending the conflict. 

Bernhard Plecher’s Thoughts on Female Intelligence in Business

Businesses and companies take on the characteristics of the people that lead them. For better or worse there is a code ingrained in the inner workings of every business entity that’s defined by the attitude and character of the founders and management.

When a business or even a country moves on the pulse of a softer style of leadership, in what ways are operations and employees impacted and what makes them different from companies that take on a harder, more masculine approach? According to Bernhard Plecher, co-founder of German company Westhouse, the differences are immense through the discovery of his own experience.


After embarking on a journey that led to him transforming the core of his organization, Bernhard discovered the power of feminine values and their abilities to extract greatness from employees. Bernhard was also able to extract a greater benefit; he experienced the transition from being the stereotypical stressed out, sleep deprived businessman to a well rested leader who experiences joy and fulfillment in every moment of his work. He says, “every person wants to grow and it’s just not that you have to ask them to grow by putting pressure on them but believing in them more and giving space and then they feel the trust and confidence that you give them.”

Much can be learned from Westhouse’s leadership shift into a healthy, forward thinking workplace that puts freedom and personal growth at the center of goals and business objectives. Bernhard understood feminine values and he learned the following;

  • Women have the ability to listen and support. This makes them the kinds of leaders that are tuned into the needs of employees. Support is given beyond the achievement of greater business goals but towards the personal advancement of the people that work under them.
  • Women have greater access to their hearts and they use this access to lead with compassion, strength and the quest for a fulfillment that goes beyond money.
  • Feminine leadership is less ego-driven, and it’s willing to share the spotlight. This makes big steps towards harmony in the workplace and sets the stage for teamwork and the fruits of a healthy, unified team of employees.

A feminine style of leadership is driven by the need for what Bernhard calls a “bigger harmony”, By instilling this important value into operations, Westhouse has excelled and achieved international success because of “a harmonization of qualities and energies.” 

Radio Episode 4: In an Age of Soft Power, Technology Helps Women Shape The Future

This week, on The Rise of the Feminine Radio, soft power is at the centre of the conversation and the first guest, soft power expert and consultant, Indra Adnan illuminates the subject with the background of her work and experience. With soft power becoming a subject that’s discussed more widely in society it’s important to understand what makes it different from hard power, and what purpose it serves in today’s world.

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Gina interviewing Dr Phyllis SantaMaria about her time in Guatamala 50 years ago and the legacy from her time there supporting a community of women

In the Country Report, Gina talks with the Norwegian founder of the WIN Conference Kristin Envig, who gives insight into the female experience in Norway. Norway is not only listed in the Top 12 of the soft power lead table, it’s also made great strides in female leadership and gender equality. This positions this nation and this guest, as a great source of inspiration and information.

The final guest on this show is Dr Phyllis SantaMaria, a woman who’s had a wonderful career working with communities in different parts of the world, starting in Guatemala and Kenya. Gina and Phyllis discuss the impact she has made and how her work decades ago continues to inspire and empower women today.

Don’t miss the episode! Tune in on Monday 9am PST/5pm London. Join the conversation on Facebook & Twitter


ROTF Episode 3: Feminine Intelligence – the new operating system has arrived

The third episode of The Rise of the Feminine airs on Monday the 15th of August. Listen here.  The first guest is Dr Scilla Elworthy, a three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Throughout her impressive career, she’s witnessed feminine leadership and intelligence first hand, and she believes the countless women-led initiatives we’re seeing all over the world are evidence of the uptake in this new thinking. The media may not have caught onto it yet, but it’s a huge wave that will change leadership and business, to society’s benefit.


Radio Show host Gina Lazenby with Bernhard Plecher at Femme Q in Berlin

This episode also features a report on Femme Q, the first summit on feminine intelligence held in Berlin this summer. Gina sat down with business leader Bernhard Plecher whose own company has benefited from a shift away from the old masculine approach to a more feminine way of doing business.  He says, “We all have our egos but I would think that women by nature have less ego. They are less ego driven than men, their compassion comes first. They are willing to step back ego wise for a bigger harmony. They are more willing to do so than men, men are more power driven.”


The Rise of the Feminine’s third guest is Dr Armgard von Reden, former Director of Government Programs for IBM Germany. Dr von Reden’s role in influencing policy brought her to the inner circles of power where she observed the world’s most powerful woman, Chancellor Angela Merkel. She shares insights into the Chancellor’s style of leadership, and how her feminine approach is what is needed in politics today.

Through examples of women centered business and a woman led government, we delve into the reasons feminine intelligence, this new operating system, is necessary in meeting the world’s current challenges. We also want to understand the real life impact of feminine leadership and the lessons society as a whole can learn from it.

Tune in on Monday the 15th of August on VoiceAmerica’s Variety Channel at 9am PST/ 5pm London time. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!



What’s the Role of Women as the World Transforms?

Today’s episode of The Rise of the Feminine is a special feature hosted from the Global Woman Summit, attended by Gina Lazenby on July 30-31 in London. Gina engages with four speakers from the event. First, she discusses its importance with Summit founder Mirela Sula who also publishes Global Woman Magazine. Secondly, she puts the spotlight on one woman, Helen Walbey who discusses the feminine way to run a business which contracts greatly with industry colleagues in her field of motorcycle recycling … a highly masculine arena.

Next is a discussion of the ‘Ask the Men’ Panel with panelist Joe St Clair on changing masculinity and finally, Keynote speaker Prof Ervin Laszlo summarises the new paradigm the world needs and the essential role women will play. The 2 days of thought-provoking talks were headlined by Nobel Peace prize nominee Prof Laszlo who spoke of the transformation needed in the world with a movement away from the typically masculine world of ‘everyone out for himself’ to a global-woman led future where women everywhere are putting to work their natural disposition to care, communicate and create a global family.


Prof Ervin Laszlo at the Global Woman Summit interviewed by Gina Lazenby

The idea, that who we are as women, and what we’re doing, makes us part of a big global movement that is shifting the world we are in, was very much the theme of the weekend summit, and was so beautifully articulated by Professor Laszlo. There were some men at the event and in no way was anything expressed as a put down to individual men, but we got to understand from Professor Laszlo that we are at a critical juncture in the history of humankind, and the transformation we need is from what he called, the typically masculine world.

Listen in on these conversations tonight on Voice America at 5pm London time repeated 9pm Pacific time, and make your contributions via email, Facebook Page or Twitter @ginalazenby.

Five Important Elements of Feminine Leadership outlined by Dr David Paul

Dr David Paul interviewed by Gina Lazenby for The Rise of the Feminine Radio

The Rise of the Feminine radio show host Gina Lazenby interviews Dr David Paul in Sydney

Five Important Elements of Feminine Leadership – shared by Dr David Paul on his interview with Gina Lazenby in the launch show

With the recent appointments of women like Theresa May as the Prime Minister in the UK and Yuriko Koike, the first female governor of Tokyo, to top political positions, and the potential presidency of Hillary Clinton, the conversation about female leaders is one that has garnered much attention and one that is critical and necessary right now. The world needs exposure to feminine leadership and perceptions need to be shifted towards a better understanding of the different qualities women bring to the table.

The radio show The Rise of the Feminine, was created with this intention, to bring a spotlight to the new potential that women can offer. Women are rising in the world today and it’s worth exploring how feminine values are being increasingly expressed more openly in business, politics and society. In the episode aired August 1st, Dr David Paul, an adviser to heads of state and a feminine leadership thought leader, was interviewed about female political leaders.

According to Dr Paul, the leadership qualities reflected in women are incredibly important considering the complex issues the world is facing right now. He believes that women have a completely new vision and society at large can, and will, benefit from this. He also goes on to give five key characteristics that define feminine leadership and how they differ from masculine leadership.

  1. Men think sequentially and linearly while women have the ability to multitask and see an issue in multiple dimensions. “You can see that with the way that women juggle so many tasks in the household.” He said men tend to focus on the next thing, then the one after that while women’s ability to see a more holistic viewpoint helps in dealing with complexity and the inter-connected nature of issues.
  2. Angela Merkel defines feminine leadership, especially her handling of the refugee situation. “She showed courage in the face of absolute chaos, a boldness of vision and a real decisiveness about humanity. She embodies all those qualities, a feminine leader brings to any situation as opposed to the very rational, logical, autocratic ‘this-is-the-way’ kind of approach that a male leader would traditionally bring.”
  3. Women have the ability to bring a different language to a global conversation. Merkel’s solution to the refugee situation was led by compassion. In Theresa May’s case, she  to responded the fact that people felt unheard by their leaders with her inclusive language. “In her actions so far Theresa may have shown that she has been listening, and that is also important in a feminine style of leadership.”
  4. Dr David Paul thinks what makes feminine leaders so attractive is how they listen and equally articulate the feelings of the disenfranchised population. “From a male perspective we do a snapshot survey, because the numbers speak, and therefore we think that we have heard everybody, but when you read the mood and feel the energy, it is a different approach.”
  5. Dr Paul also reminds us of the role of women in keeping the countries going through World War II. They kept the factories going and they held together the fabric of society. “If they had not been there then we would not have had a nation to come back to.” Feminine leadership is not just about roles in politics and business, it also embraces women’s vital leadership in communities and and home-making.

LISTEN to The Rise of the Feminine radio show episode featuring Dr David Paul

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Radio Show: Why Countries Need Feminine Leadership Right Now

Gina interviewing Viviane Morris

Don’t miss the very first episode of Gina Lazenby’s new radio show, The Rise of the Feminine which launches on Monday 1 August on Voice America (5pm London). This week, Gina will engage with two experts in the fields of feminine leadership, politics and branding and a third guest discusses her entry into the world of local activism for national politics.

First, Gina talks to feminine leadership specialist and author Dr David Paul, discussing a wave of feminine leadership sweeping the world, echoed by the recent appointment of Theresa May to the Prime Minister post in the UK. David has been an adviser to heads of state and government minsters globally, both men and women, and has unique insights into what he sees women can bring to political leadership.

In the second part of the episode, the Country Report, Gina talks to Rúna Magnusdottir, an Icelandic entrepreneur and author, who has had special insight into Iceland’s contribution to the feminine leadership conversation. The discussion is centered mainly on the lessons that the UK can learn from other countries on the perceptions and understanding of feminine leadership.

In the third and final part of this week’s Rise of the Feminine episode, Gina talks with the local chapter leader of the UK’s Women’s Equality party in Harrogate, Yorkshire, Viviane Morris who got involved with the brand new political party with no prior experience in politics. She shares her interest in helping the world raise children who have a more inclusive perception of gender, which gives more hope for the future. We’ll be talking about the Women’s Equality party and its mission in a future show but here we wanted to focus in on what one woman can do when she steps forward and takes action in her local community.

Join the Rise of the Feminine conversation online on the Facebook page  and don’t forget to tune in every Monday, live at 5pm in London and start the week with us in California at 9am Pacific time.

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Listen live on Mondays 5pm London time