A successful woman is a woman who knows how to hustle. We have to. The struggle is real, consistent, and institutionalized throughout our societies. While today’s woman may aspire to “have it all,” we typically also have to do it all, and I do mean ALL. We often earn half, and sometimes the entirety, of our family income despite wage inequality. We raise and educate our children, manage our households, provide caregiving to our aging parents, and participate in community activism/volunteerism.(1) We do it all, and we do it with flourish, finesse, and usually without flexible work options. In leadership positions when we are bosses, C-Suite executives and entrepreneurs, our plates overflow with responsibilities while we are held to a separate, more rigorous standard and our levels of accountability and scrutiny rise exponentially.
The good news is, we are at the cusp of an evolution, awakening to our Feminine Power and all the potential we hold for actualizing the future of our world. Women have not known this awesome status or been held in such high regard since ancient times, when we were revered as goddesses, rulers and creators birthing new worlds.(2) We are clawing our way back to that essential, elevated position. We are reclaiming our rightful place. As we embrace our inner power and pursue a larger calling, we know intuitively that we do so to not only break glass ceilings for the women who come after us, but also to create a world that is more compassionate, communicative, and peacefully co-existent.
We women have navigated adversity across the history of our gender. Since the fall of the matriarchy some 3500 years ago, we have struggled with being subjugated and considered property. For thousands of years now, we have been prevented from directing our own lives, owning property, earning money, pursuing education, exploring countries and cultures, delving into the sciences, controlling our reproductive rights, creating art, running for public office, joining the military, voting and participating in government, practicing healing traditions, offering spiritual leadership or asserting our individuality. Up until the last century, freethinking women have been declared “unnatural,” deemed “the devil’s accomplice,” and stoned, hanged, beheaded and burned at the stake. And still, in many parts of the world, women are essentially invisible and deprived of privilege, opportunity, and status.
Native Americans have observed the relationship between the rise of male-dominated, misogynistic societies and humankind’s increased disrespect for Mother Earth, calling it “koyanisqatsi,” or “life out of balance.” (3) But today, “sisters” are not only “doing it for themselves,” we’re rising to our potential and the fulfillment of our true nature for the betterment of our families, our communities, our nations, our world, and our planet. We are leveling the playing field, re-envisioning the balance of power, and hopefully, ultimately returning our planet to a state of harmony.
Hustling is more than an act of self-empowerment, survival or necessity. It is a political, social and spiritual act of reclamation. It is a revolutionary act, a resounding statement and recognition of who we are as a gender, a conscious resumption of the power and responsibility we hold as creator beings and stewards of the planet, and an earnest endeavor to reclaim all those fragmented bits of ourselves denied, vilified, and persecuted for so long. As writer Jude Collins asserts, “women have been living in an open-air prison.”(4) We have been the slaves of slaves, suffering the patriarchal fear of our true power. But it is impossible to extinguish the essence and inherent gifts of an entire gender.
Nature and nurture ultimately find a way to give voice and expression to divine design. Women have struggled for equal footing with men against all odds, religious suppression, and societal domination, at great peril to themselves. Little by little, we asserted ourselves, gained ground, and made headway in both discreet and bold ways. In the last century, women leaders even took the world stage (Thatcher, Gandhi, Meir), although in order to govern, they felt the need to emulate the attitudes, prejudices and actions of the male-oriented age, and displayed aggressive, unyielding, egotistical and cold authoritarian patterns and traits. But in this new century, women will rise as the heads of governments and industries, lead with equanimity, and exhibit the best of their true nature, without feeling compelled to be as hard or as brutally aggressive as their male counterparts.(5)
Today, boss ladies, women professionals, and women entrepreneurs hustle with a focused tenacity, moving steadily toward their goals while often multi-tasking like the many-armed Hindu goddess Kali, the embodiment of shakti, or female power. Once a woman has a sense of her boundless potential and inner strength, she embodies courage, is unapologetic, acts freely, is neither shallow or willing to be managed, and reveals a complexity grounded in the determination to exist and endure. And endure women do. Our perseverance and endurance equip us to do almost everything better, whether our careers take us to the political, corporate, or financial sphere, and everything leading up to and in between.
We are naturally wired with long-term strategic vision, so we are better equipped to solve the world’s bigger problems. Historically, we are more likely than men to reinvest economic gains back into our families and communities, and our more productive allocation of resources can help create new strategies for living and thriving on this planet.(6) We possess 1/10th of the testosterone men have and are therefore less likely to be stuck on the “winner hamster wheel” driven by overconfidence or ego into taking unnecessary risks.(7) Where details matter, we excel. We also have sharper memories, especially when it comes to remembering faces. We complain less about pain and discomfort than our male counterparts, and are often more relatable communicators, adept at getting others to talk about themselves.(8)
Science and innovation have helped catapult us in our efforts. The old manufacturing economy has given way to a new service economy, where education and skill sets mostly require mental acuity as opposed to physical strength. As a result, women are successfully dominating professions like accounting, finance, medicine, law and politics. More women than ever have assumed leadership and power positions across the corporate spectrum, have been elected to legislatures and are heads of state around the world.(9)