Here Come the Women!

Looking again at the transition that’s happening and that underlies what “Sustainable Living” is all about, our (roughly) 12,500 year cycle is now ending … and a new cycle is beginning.

Looking way back, civilization was led by women … as in “The Queen of Sheba.”  Collaboration between human groups was high;  war was almost non-existent.

Then – about 12,500 years ago (though long-term transitions don’t occur in an instant – such as at 2:47 p.m., Wednesday, September 15th … or December 21st, 2012 – civilization shifted to male-dominated leadership.  In more masculine style, we became more competitive, more aggressive, more wars occurred.

Here’s an interesting article about increasing levels of women leadership – in business and in government.  I’ll add comments afterwards about what I believe will actually be happening, which is even more intriguing than the article.

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A recent issue of FORTUNE featured a cover story on the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, and an inside piece on Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM.  It was interesting and significant to me that IBM, which, for most of my life has had the reputation of buttoned-down, white-shirted, dark suited men, was now headed by a woman.  It was almost as though one of the icons of global business had just turned a significant corner in some important way.

There’s a good interview with her at:

Ginni Rometty: Forget strategy, ask me what I believe, from FORTUNE here.

Probably the only thing more surprising in this regard would be if Ross Perot’s EDS – which used to primarily hire former military officers and force them to dress as though they worked at IBM – was headed by a woman.

But wait!

It is!

EDS was sold to HP which is led by Meg Whitman, a powerhouse in her own right.

Then there was this story about Brazil electing a record number of women in their last election.  621 women were elected mayor outright.  That’s up from 504 in the last municipal elections four years ago and from 187 in 1996.
What’s going on here?

Hanna Rosin thinks she knows.  In her book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women , Rosin argues that the U.S. (at least) has entered an era of female dominance.  Women have fought tirelessly to establish equal footing for themselves in relationships, politics and the workplace.  And, according to writer Hanna Rosin, they’ve finally arrived.  Here’s a nice excerpt of an NPR story on Rosin’s book …
“Women make up about half the workforce and the majority of college degrees — which, these days, is the prerequisite to success in this world.  But … I discovered that this had seeped into the fabric of our lives — our intimate relationships, our marriages, all the decisions we make in life — and that was the big surprise in reporting the book.”

There are other sources – esoteric to be sure – that suggest that this shift toward the feminine will end a 13,000 year period that has been dominated by masculine influences, with all of its emphasis on conflict and competition.

They explain that we are passing from below through the middle of the flat beam of enabling and organizing energy that emanates from the center of the galaxy (which is why all of the stars in the Milky Way are located in a platter-like configuration).  They say that the character of that energy changes from being predominately masculine to predominately feminine and that the middle point is around December of this year.

Their prediction is that we’d see an increasing number of women in places of authority in the coming years and more balanced males.

Could be happening!

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Several sources looking at major long-term trends shaping our civilization suggest that – for the first time in human history – leadership will actually have a male-female balance.

Competition does contribute … by pushing businesses to evolve better and better products and services.  Paraphrasing a World Future Society convention speaker …

“Just look around this room;  you’ll see all sorts of examples of how technology has shaped our lives.  From electric lighting to global wireless telecommunication, examining trends in technology tells you how we’ll be living in coming years.”

However, while competitive skills help in “zero-sum” situations – win-lose sports or business situations – they’re often destructive in non-zero-sum situations … living sustainably in harmony with the Earth … and typically produce “lose-lose” outcomes.

The alternative?

First-world countries – North American, European, Japan, and Oceania – aren’t reproducing themselves.  As literacy increases, and as women focus on professional careers, the number of children decreases.  A family with one child is more adverse to war, as they don’t want their only child killed.

Current global conflicts mostly center about countries with lower literacy and larger numbers of children per family.

Most forecasts indicate – despite the influence of what Eisenhower dubbed the “Military-Industrial Complex” – a lessening of wars and essentially no wars by this century’s end.

I recall working with a civil engineering firm in Anchorage.  They’d hired a married couple, each with civil engineering degrees, right out of college.  The firm saw the husband, the top of his class, as their next star.  While he did excellent technical work, his wife was better with clients … helping the firm win contracts and working successfully with client groups during projects.

While I’m cautious about generalities, young girls seem to play more collaborative games, while guys bang heads in competitive sports.  Many engineering firm CEOs say they find women consistently better as project managers, because of their skills in getting people to work together.

Both collaborative and competitive skills have great value.  Competition, to advance the level of technology we all enjoy.  Collaboration, to live with our Earth and with other human groups.

The article cites examples of women assuming increasing amount of leadership in business and government, and forecasts dominance.  The forecasts I see are – for the first time in our civilization’s history – a balance of male and female leadership.  And the outcome:

Living sustainably with Earth and with one another;  and

enjoying spectacular new fruits of technological innovation.

We do live in interesting times!

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