I am currently – with a lot of enthusiasm and anticipation – writing on my speech that I will hold at one of our clients' headquarters for International Women's Day. All of my research reminds me though, how complex Gender Equality and Diversity & Inclusion topics are.
Being a female entrepreneur, I often have to remind myself to get back into my feminine flow. I have a male business partner and the business world is still infused with A LOT of masculine energy because it has been dominated by (white) men for a very long time.
Whenever I want to be reminded of feminine qualities, I look to the Eastern philosophy of Yin & Yang and the qualities Yin & Yang ascribes to the masculine and feminine principles (not men and women!) – see below for more details.
Whenever I embrace and honor the female qualities again, I feel better. At the same time, these traits can be misleading: some people criticize them for reinforcing stereotypes.
Quite the opposite is true though: Yin & Yang teaches us that when the two principles are balanced, there's harmony. They are opposites, yet compliment each other – in all of us, no matter the gender. This is a concept that is difficult to grasp for the Western mind where we typically like to look at the world from a dualistic perspective of either/or. The philosopy of Yin and Yang is not dualistic, rather, it can be described as "dynamic equilibrium".
I was asked if equality means being the same and my answer is no:
we're all different and this is beautiful.
By including otherness, we reach harmony - within & without. By acknowledging that opposites don't have to exclude each other but actually depend on one another to thrive, we create an environment where equality can blossom.
I'd love to hear your opinions.