I have just returned from London where I had the honour of participating as one of only five global female voices in a British Museum international exhibition on feminine power. The exhibition opened on 19 May, runs until August in London and then comes to the Australian National Museum in Canberra in December, then onto Spain and other parts of the globe for the next 5 years.
The exhibition features ancient sculpture, sacred artefacts and contemporary art from six continents, which all explore the diversity of ways femininity, the female and feminine power and leadership has been perceived across the globe from the ancient world to today. The exhibition is brought to life by the commentary and shared lived experiences of the five female voices.
It’s a brave, beautiful, confronting and illuminating showcase of the multi facetted nature of feminine power, which challenges our stereotypical binary notions of what it means to be a female and what traits women bring to power and leadership.
The exhibition provokes important conversations about the need for us all to accept and embrace both our masculine and feminine characteristics, and a timely reminder that from ancient times to today, women, female goddesses and female spirits have been revered as life creators and life takers, arbiters of justice and keepers of secrets, maintainers of moral standards and slayers of evil forces, all achieved through the ability of the female to be many things at once – measured, wise, nurturing, resilient and fierce.
This nuanced and multi faceted nature of feminine power is something we have seen more and more in recent times, as girls and women increasingly find their voice and mobilise for justice, for their rights and for societal and cultural change. It has become increasingly evident that leaders and particularly men in power that ignore or underestimate the potency of feminine power do so at their peril, and this was clear to me as I returned to Australia just a few days ago to the dramatic and historic Federal election results.
So as values based leaders, we must ask ourselves often whether we are fully embracing our masculine and feminine qualities, whether we are building our organisations and surrounding ourselves with the richness that diversity of talent, thought and background brings, and whether we are fully harnessing or under valuing the unique and multi faceted qualities that women bring to leadership, power and decision making.
Warm wishes always,
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