Contributed by two young, powerful, women leaders, Teresa Rischl & Katya Beebe
Two weekends ago, Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) held their 24th annual event in Fairfield, NJ where they discussed women making an impact through compassionate, sustainable leadership. As a sister organization to CARP, there is a wonderful partnership between WFWP and CARP, given that (unsurprisingly) half of CARP students are women. Our founders, Father and Mother Moon, have also emphasized the importance of women’s leadership as a mechanism for sustaining peace.
A feminine approach to leadership is traditionally a compassionate one, an empathetic one, a soft one – all of which reflect CARP’s Unification Principles which seek to bring about unity in every circumstance. Soft skills such as communication, empathy, creativity, and intuition are essential in developing the emotional intelligence quotient (EQ).
“Investing in women is not only the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do. I am deeply convinced that, in women, the world has at its disposal, the most significant and yet largely untapped potential for development and peace.” – Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General on International Women’s Day (2008)
We are all surrounded by wonderful women: mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, and so on. Investing in women has two important effects on society – the advancement of women in the professional world and the promotion of a feminine logic of power (logic to influencing others) as a valuable asset in all corners of society.
By honoring and applying the God-given feminine attributes imbued in men and women, we can create a culture and society that truly reflects God’s heart. We can only do it when men and women work together and honor each other’s unique characteristics.
Advancing Women to Leadership Roles
Women are part of the fabric of our societies, families, schools, and workplaces. Research shows that 60% of college graduates are women, who then go on to join virtually every industry. Although there is still work to do to have representation in the top tiers of leadership, there has been some progress.
Ban Ki Moon’s statement talks about women as a “largely untapped potential for development and peace,” referring to the untapped potential of women in the developing world especially. It is true in the developed world as well. Women bring the soft skills that can be an effective solution to the historically conflict-ridden circumstances in this world.
In recent decades, powerful women have risen to take on leadership roles in various trades: business, non-profit, politics, finance, media, and tech. Having women in leadership positions encourages other women to follow and build on the foundation laid by those before us.
A huge benefit to women’s leadership is the contribution to culture. Father and Mother Moon have emphasized a culture of heart which creates an atmosphere of communication, collaboration, compassion, sustainability, and love. This culture contributes to creating and maintaining peace in our relationships, organizations, societies, nations, and world. To really impact and heal the world today, we need this kind of heart .
Promoting Feminine Logic of Power in Society
Women’s advancement into leadership roles in every sector of society is a celebration and recognition of the feminine logic of power, and an added representation of God. Our institutions, organizations, and governments need a new kind of leadership – leadership of the heart.
“Because most of human history was filled with war, revolution, fighting, oppression, domination, conflict and violence, the masculine logic of power made sense and masculine ideologies dominated.” (World Peace and the Role of Women I)
Father and Mother Moon established WFWP as a platform to balance the masculine logic of power (which unfortunately often has led to conflict) and introduce a new kind of leadership.
“The world today is calling for peace, reconciliation, compassion, love, service and sacrifice. It is an age in which our current problems cannot be solved by the masculine logic of power.” (World Peace and the Role of Women I)
Women in leadership roles help legitimize the feminine logic of power that in turn aids in the advancement of our societies toward peaceful and sustainable ends. Emotional intelligence is key to great leadership.
Harvard Business Review’s The Explainer: Emotional Intelligence talks about the five components of EQ coined by American psychologist, Daniel Goleman, and their relevance to strong leadership. These soft skills, traditionally perceived as feminine qualities, are now becoming more desirable in the workplace as a reflection of a more holistic leadershipcoupled with high intelligence and technical abilities. Women AND men need to invest in emotional intelligence, a representation of feminine logic of power, to succeed in compassionate, sustainable leadership.
Balancing Masculine and Feminine Logic of Power
Women, of course, are not all carbon copies embodying a feminine logic of power just as not all men embody a hard power stance in their leadership style. People are more complex than that.
The Divine Principle talks about the dual characteristics of God, including feminine and masculine characteristics working in harmony. Women simply represent the feminine and men the masculine, however, both genders are imbued with the two types of characteristics. Each person, female or male, has her or his own unique expression of these dual characteristics.
As we learn to honor and apply the feminine characteristics God has given us, we, together as men and women, can create a sustainable, peaceful future. To become global citizens, capable of bringing people together, we need to recognize the unique beauty of our differences and how we are perfectly complemented to work together.