Your professional world has been shaped by men and masculine values. So what if you're a woman? You've likely learned to adapt. You may have lost touch with how you shine best: your feminine energy. A sure sign that you may not be harnessing your innate feminine genius at work is this: you notice that you operate differently as a mom or with girlfriends than you do at work. If you think this may be true, read on. This blog introduces you to the difference between the feminine and masculine ways to create (or birthing vs building) so that you can tap your highest potential for innovation and creativity.
Let's begin with a short video:
Are we talking about gender?
When speaking of masculine energy, that has typically referred to the gender of men, and when speaking of feminine energy that has traditionally referred to the gender of women. As we’ve acknowledged in recent years, this gender divide is not so clear cut. A male in gender can identify more with feminine energy and a woman in gender can identify more with masculine energy. It is important to clarify that both masculine and feminine energy exist in each of us. For most, however, one of the energies resonates more like home.
What is masculine and what is feminine?
You’ve likely heard the eastern concept of Yin and Yang. These are two energies that are different yet together balance each other and make a full circle. This is the idea of masculine and feminine energy. Masculine energy is yang - the giving energy - and focuses on logic, achievement, and decisiveness while expressing as goal-oriented, controlling, and competitive. Feminine energy is yin - the receptive energy - that focuses on intuition, being, feelings, and sensing while expressing as creative, nurturing, and collaborative.
Let’s compare birthing and building -
Building is a natural expression of masculine energy.
Building is about making something.
Building involves setting a goal, applying research, adding competitive processes, and taking control to aggressively move the goal forward through massive action.
Birthing is a natural expression of feminine energy.
Birthing is about being a vessel for something.
Birthing involves receiving an idea from God/the loving universe as a seed, carrying that idea within during a period of gestation in a state of surrender, and intuiting wisdom along the way to be able to nurture and release the idea at its highest potential.
Why does this matter?
Masculine energy has led the way to great progress in business and industry. Most modern work environments have been designed by men for men. The current customs at work emerged in a time when business and higher education were led by men who designed structures, systems, and success principles. The typical male leader built businesses using what is innate in masculine energy. Because of this orientation toward masculine energy, that which has been most masculine has been valued inside the workforce, and that which is more feminine has been devalued. It is common for example that many work environments value aggressiveness, data and rational analyses, and hierarchical leadership (typically male) while devaluing compassion, collaboration, and intuition (typically female).
In the past 50 years, however, women have entered the workforce at higher and higher numbers. At first, the few women entering “a man’s world” felt safe in adopting masculine energy as their way of working, and this felt safe to the men too. With the progression of time and now equal numbers of men and women in the workforce, in current times, women are feeling inauthentic to spend their entire workdays in masculine energy, and this is also true for men who identify with feminine energy or enjoy a balance between the two.
Because the workforce has been so one-sided, many women don’t know how to operate inside their feminine energy at work. This is to be expected because they have been trained to operate in masculine energy. This can leave many women feeling unfulfilled without understanding why. If feminine energy is your home base but you spend all your time in masculine energy, it follows that you will feel stressed, exhausted, unhappy, and when you're really honest with yourself you'll wonder if you really are a fit for the work you do.
What does feminine energy look like at work?
The current masculine focus at work on rationality with a de-prioritization of emotions does not work well for women. This is because feelings serve as a powerful compass for decision-making in the feminine. Women have a deep capacity for feeling love, joy, reverence - signs of harmony. At the same time, women feel very deep discomfort when there is misalignment of harmony. Thus, it is through feelings that women can judge what is in or out of alignment in a work project with ease - regardless of what someone might say rationally about the situation. With this sensing ability, women are capable of bringing great healing into the workforce where too much masculine ambition has harmed the Earth, overworked people, and devalued families. It is the domain of the feminine to bring balance and correction.
If you want more feminine energy in your work life, here is what you can expect:
- nurturing and supportive leadership,
- intuitive decision-making,
- playfulness and creativity,
- collaboration and inclusivity,
- deep listening and compassion.
Also key, in your personal experience of creating from feminine energy, here is what to expect. It is akin to birthing a baby. You are not the engineer operating from a place of logic and effort - that is the opposite. When you are birthing from feminine energy you are the vessel for ideas to be born through you that are a part of you but also beyond you. And that is why receptivity and collaboration are everything. Your job is to focus on being open, sensitive, and to allow the flow.
If reading about feminine energy here sparks interest and a renewed sense of aliveness in you, this could be a great time to more deeply examine your feminine genius. You can begin by embracing feminine values. First, be compassionate. Know that you are not alone. Many women in the work world have lost touch with their feminine genius. I certainly did in the legal industry! Second, be nurturing. Ask yourself what you need to support your growth to learn more about the feminine? And third, be collaborative. Reach out to me if you're wanting to learn more about engaging your feminine genius. I'm currently working on coaching offers, webinars, and blog topics for 2021, and would love to hear from you!
About the Author
Hi I'm Gina Marotta, and as your career coach + spiritual guide, I can help you clarify and communicate your inner genius so that you do meaningful, impactful work you love. I believe deeply that we all have inner genius and when we clarify it, we have a greater ability to transform our lives to follow our dreams and destiny. I have reinvented my career identity twice: I began my career as an attorney advocating for constitutional rights inside the criminal justice system in some of Chicago's highest profile cases. I also served as the managing director for a national nonprofit organization giving teen girls in low-income communities greater career opportunities through access to higher education and mentorship. Recognized for my career of service, I have been named 50 Under 50 and among 100 Women Making a Difference. You will also find me quoted and interviewed often as a career expert in the media, featured in outlets like Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, and WGN Radio.