The DNA of Gender Dynamics© Part 4. Merging life and business … the “and/and” female mantra

By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator

Women have entered business in increasing numbers and blend business & life. Will men accept women as a bonus to business and recognize the mutual talents they bring together? Understanding each other is key!
Like many women, I loved the logic of business and yet needed to blend business & life. I challenged men to accept women as a bonus to business and recognize the mutual talents they bring together. I knew that understanding in a gender dynamic manner was essential.

As I developed the business side of my emergent personality, I grew despondent about my personal relationship with my husband.  I discovered that, after years of having a relatively negative self-image, I had finally come to love my angular body and saw it come into alignment with my natural, angular, logical mind-set. I came to the realization that I was what, who and how I was for a reason.  I was no more nor was I any less than any other woman I perceived as sexier or curvier than me. The strange paradox was, however, that those same kinds of women would continue to try and persuade me to be more like them … more feminine, as they were fond of saying. Nonetheless, in my own unique reality, I was every bit as feminine as they were.I remembered my own story, in those first years as I got into business. I recognized that I loved the logic of business as much as I enjoyed my domestic life. I drove like a man, read maps like a man, and as I moved confidently into my 40’s I was transitioning into a no-nonsense independent, action oriented woman.  And yet I still had a soft underbelly that cried over unnecessarily critical feedback. I maintained an understated femininity on the inside that sought love from a soul-mate and desired the support and respect of the female tribe of which I was a fiercely proud member.

My identity crisis as a woman started slowly gained resolution as I continue to learn more and more about the subject over the years. Because I am now in a position to reveal what I have learned over the years, I am inclined to share my truth with you because it has led me to a rich life filled with emotional expression rooted in professional authenticity and a reputation as a woman of substance in business and in life. If you too have ever felt a lack of identity or felt your self-image to be different to that of your gender peers, then stay with me a little longer.

Seated left with my mother, brothers and sister - I always felt like the 'rebel divorcee' striding out alone in my 50's for what I believed in - whether it was love, independence or affirmation, I searched for true meaning.
Seated left with my mother, brothers and sister – I always felt like the ‘rebel divorcee’ striding out alone in my 50’s for what I believed in – whether it was love, independence or affirmation, I searched for true meaning.

I spent many years forcing myself to diet while continuously trying on clothes that should have made me feel more feminine, frilly and sexy. And yet when I emerged from the dressing room I felt improperly dressed and more often than not, dishonest. I struggled between knowing “I liked myself as a person” and “not liking who I was as a woman”. I was never comfortable as a girly-girl although I admired that quality in my sister and my girlfriends. Even though a tom-boy, I loved clothes and colours. I loved being female and never wanted to be a boy.  I was at last able to identify and articulate the ‘and and’ multi-faceted nature of being a female but happily with a masculine ‘either or’ ‘yes/no’ logical mind set. This was a mindset and physicality combination geared to business of the day yet allowing me the right to retain my value as a woman.

My “ah-ha” moment came about quite naturally, almost by accident, as often things do. I now recognize the Law of Unintended Consequences and my somewhat accidental discovery has enabled me to identify the DNA of Gender Dynamics© for you – for women and men under all circumstances and all diverse factors and all condition including age, culture, sexuality, ethnicity and/or disability. What I have discovery has allowed me to communicate clearly with men and women alike, and has help both parties better understand their Gender Dynamics© types, shapes and genetically imposed dispositions. It helps each and every one of us create a natural blueprint for relationships, professional performance, personal interaction and overall success.  I now am privileged to share, with men and women alike, in all levels of business and enterprise, how they can understand each other, relate to each other, communicate with one another as well as live, breathe and work better with each other … if they so choose.

Performing for NIEW at The Ministry of Women, Malaysia, working with men and women on 'Gender Intelligence Leadership
Performing for NIEW at The Ministry of Women, Malaysia, working with men and women on ‘Gender Intelligent Leadership” I found my passion is to engage men and women in understanding each other.

The DNA of Gender Dynamics© Part 2 – Finding My Place in the New DNA Helix

By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator

Aged 21 setting out on my first career in Tourism, and enjoying the style of the 70's I joined a young expanding business full of men and women.
Aged 21 setting out on my first career in Tourism, and enjoying the style of the 70’s I joined a young expanding business full of men and women.

Let me provide a little personal perspective with regard to the forgoing first 40+ years of my life. I was a very fashion conscious female when it came to my own style. I was lucky to be a teenager in the 1960’s because a more causal and funky fashion sense came to the fore.  I created my own wardrobe for the reason that, as a young girl, I had learned the art and science of dressmaking. I could conceptualize an outfit simply by looking at a piece of fabric before I had ever sewn a stitch. I learned, among other things, that I was highly visually oriented.  I saw ideas as connected shapes. I could read maps and drove my car – according to my female friends – like a man. I could connect diverse pieces in my mind and create designs both on paper and verbally. I loved geometry and art and what I knew of Leonardo Da Vinci made him my role model. Yet, I was dissatisfied with my journey as a woman.

From the beginning – at least when I was in charge of deciding how I would dress – I always dressed to suit the occasion and my emotional make-up of the day. Sometimes I got it right but almost as often I didn’t. In those early years, getting it wrong made me feel somewhat frumpish and more than a little stupid even when I knew I was neither!

I learned much about myself during my formative years, not the smallest lesson of which was … dressing to look  feminine mother rather than as the woman I believed myself to be was very, very difficult. I wasn’t suited to soft fabrics that clung to me or frills that created a more sensuous and gentle profile.  I felt better in trousers (thanks goodness for jeans). I loved to wear pant suits, and bell-bottoms and many items trendy including mini-skirts. I especially loved the square shouldered jackets of the 80’s and structured garments that hung straight and simple. I liked bold colours and ‘chunky’ jewelry and seldom, if ever, ventured into the frilly; elaborate or tight fitting clothes with low cut necklines. As a business woman in the 90’s, I felt that fashion had finally caught up with ME rather than vice versa.

With the advent of large shoulder pads in women’s jackets and tops, I was told that I looked tough and somewhat intimidating although that was not who I was on the inside.  I was just being me. I presented seminars and programs to largely male corporate audiences and felt very much at home. Conversely, when I was at home with my husband and children, I felt estranged from my business driven persona.

As I gained credibility in the work environment, my physicality boosted my confidence when I realized the juxtaposition at work with men in the corporate world. I enjoyed the intellectual sparring, presenting my ideas to inspire business people to develop and improve themselves as I had done.  I felt the inner satisfaction of being able to stand mPauline Dom Photosy ground but was keenly aware that I was still very much in the developmental stage myself.

Today I continue to spend the greater part of my time humanizing and advancing my work in Gender Dynamics© and Gender-Intelligent Leadership©. It is my firm belief that the results that I have been able to codify is the legacy that I will one day leave to my family, to my friends and the world at large.