Leading ladies—allowing the feminine to flow4 min read . Updated: 23 Dec 2016, 12:37 AM IST
Women can play a very important part in softening economic activity so that it is sustainable in the long-term and focused towards human well-being
Q: I run a manufacturing company. I wanted to have more women in the manufacturing space but the challenge is difficult. What do you advise?
Sadhguru: In terms of manufacturing a human being, nature decided to give much more responsibility to a woman than to a man. So they are obviously good with the manufacturing sector. Women have delivered much more than any man has delivered. I am not just saying this in a lighter sense, I am saying this with genuine respect. Today, we tend to think in terms of assembly lines and manufacturing facilities, but there is a creative part to manufacturing as well, where a woman can play a very strong role.
The assembly line is essentially a very masculine activity, and it needs daily attendance, which may not be possible for a woman. If she attends to her work that way, she may not be able to fulfil family related and other responsibilities she has in her life. I am not saying a woman cannot work on the assembly line, but they need longer breaks at certain times which may interfere with that aspect of manufacturing. Rather than putting her on the factory floor, a woman could play a very active role in the more creative aspects of manufacturing like design, development and marketing.
We are at a stage in the world where economic activity is becoming the major aspect on the planet. Women— who are 50% or more of the human population—should have a just and substantial role in making this significant piece of human activity happen. In the next decade or so, economic leadership will gain a new level of significance. In business or elsewhere, vision is a very important part of being a leader. A leader is someone who can see what others cannot. If you don’t see anything new, you will become the subject of ridicule. Generally, a man’s day-to-day race with somebody else has kept him so busy that he cannot see anything. But a woman has developed a capability within herself where she can sit back and look at what is happening.
Women can play a very important part in softening economic activity so that it is sustainable in the long-term and focused towards human well-being. The economic model in the world today has to be re-crafted in such a way that commerce serves humanity rather than humanity being enslaved to commerce. Shaping our humanity is not the exclusive privilege of just one sex. In leadership—both business and political—women must have a role because they are the gentler part of humanity.
For a long time, humanity has given too much significance to the masculine because survival has been the dominant factor. The feminine can come to its proper place only when societies have handled their survival well and reached a certain level of stabilized culture and civilization. Societies are coming to that phase today, but instead of relaxing our survival instinct, we are just raising the bar for survival to a ridiculous extent. Earlier, survival meant gathering the day’s food. Today, survival means a Mercedes or a BMW. If we go this way, there will be no room for the feminine in society. If we relax our survival instincts, you will see, the feminine naturally becomes very significant.
Masculine and feminine are not about being physically male and female. The feminine can be as alive in a man as it is in a woman. These are two qualities. Only when these two qualities happen in balance, can a human being live a life of fulfilment. To use an analogy, if you call the root the masculine, the flower and the fruit is feminine. The very purpose of the root is to bring the flower and the fruit. If that does not happen, the root will go waste. Survival by itself does not take care of everything. After survival is taken care of, the subtler aspects of life have to happen to you.
Today, people’s idea of success is driven by personal ambition. That is a very foolish way of doing things. There is a way to achieve success without being fired by ambition. If you are concerned about everything around you, you will not hold anything back—you will naturally do your best. This is a woman’s way of operating, and this is the best way to operate in the world.
The way of the masculine is to go somewhere without much attention to what is here and now. The feminine is not trying to go anywhere. The feminine is happy where it is. If these two aspects are in balance, we will not only go somewhere but we will also enjoy where we are right now. That is what needs to happen in the world.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a yogi and founder of Isha Foundation.