Honouring the Yin and Yang of Women in Business On International Women’s Day

In celebrating International Women's Day 2024, under the theme of 'Investing in women: Accelerate progress', the spotlight is on the essential and inseparable roles of gender equality.
From left: Daria Krasnogor, CEO Luxury Real Estate Agency Me To You Realty and Founder of Personal Branding Company Innovate Identity; Lyda Fischer, Founder of US-Born Beauty and Skincare Brand Lyda Beauty; Tamara Bigaeva, Founder of Evolution Aesthetics Clinic Dubai.

Such initiatives are a need of the hour, however the new generation of entrepreneurs are sourcing back to the ancient philosophy of the Yin and Yang in gender equality.

Historically, many cultures honour the yin and yang, the grounding energies of the sun and the wavering moon, light and dark, male and female. While the Chinese Taoist philosophy refers to it as yin and yang, in Japan it is known as in-yo, in Indian homes the power of Shiva and Shakti is revered, and even the Native American culture celebrates the concept of balance and harmony in nature, in people and in work.

We live in a world of duality. Just as we have the beautiful gift of light within us, we also have shadows, and one simply cannot exist without the other.

In a recent publication, Harvard Business Review addressed the dynamics of women's presence in the corporate landscape. The article, backed by data obtained from polling men, shed light on perceived strategies for a woman’s success in the boardroom, and to no surprise, the answers boiled down to, “Women should act more like men.”

In the cutthroat corporate landscape, being “too feminine” has long been associated with gentleness, while on the flip side, being “too masculine” has possibly led to bottling of emotions, excessive burnout and crippling anxiety. As the current generation has started to step away from limiting gender stereotypes, there has been a growing awareness of the potential of tapping into both our energies - masculine and feminine.

Arianna Huffington who has been championing well-being through her bestselling books “Thrive” and “The Sleep Revolution,” and her well-being platform Thrive Global, believes that in today’s busy world, we must strive for “life-work integration”. “While work is obviously important and can give us purpose and meaning in our lives, it shouldn’t take the place of life,” she says. “Work is a part of a thriving life, but life should come first”, drawing a reference to the Yin and Yang energies that exist within us.

We spoke to a few dynamic women in business, to know more about their work ethic and approach to achieving balance in business.

Founder of US-born beauty and skincare brand Lyda Beauty, Lyda Fischer spoke of starting her business to drive positive change in the world. When she entered the vibrant Hollywood beauty industry, she had ambition to succeed, but knew that it must be accompanied with a sense of serenity – even if at the cost of speed. “When I launched Lyda Beauty, the future of the brand was a mystery to me. Over the years, the brand evolved into what it is today – a space where the driven and the tranquil walk side by side. Embarking on my spiritual journey was a turning point, illuminating the essence of life as a delicate equilibrium of balance and harmony. Through Lyda Beauty, we touch on these two aspects using the black of Yin for our beauty lines, and the white of Yang in our SKN lines packaging to serve as a powerful reminder to pause, reflect and embrace the core principle of existence – balance!" Lyda explains. Lyda regularly meets the staff working on her product line, to get a sense of their personal well-being.

“As a professional woman, I have often been surrounded by a boardroom full of men who function with a highly objective approach to work. Many of us have been told that there is no room for emotion in business. But I believe in using your feminine traits to the highest advantages, and these are the qualities of collaboration, nurture, intuition and communication”, says the Former Marketing Head of ‘NBC-Group’ and current Founder of Evolution Aesthetics Clinic Dubai Tamara Bigaeva. “These are not female characteristics, rather feminine qualities which exist within each of us, men and women.”

Serial entrepreneur with a background in construction and architecture, CEO Luxury Real Estate Agency Me To You Realty and Founder of personal branding company Innovate Identity, Daria Krasnogor began her entrepreneurial journey aged just 11 when she collected and sold scrap metal in her village. Talented and highly ambitious, she used her ‘feminine’ skills in the business of personal styling and networking to scale her business further. “Our vision for the future is to become a pivotal force in shaping personal profiles, while contributing to Dubai’s vibrant entrepreneurial landscape.” “The goal is to stay in your feminine energy, while you work and you’ll tap into your greatest gifts and be able to contribute the most,” she says.

The age-old concept of yin and yang, relevant even today, offers a lens through which these seemingly opposing forces can be viewed as interdependent and complementary. While acknowledging the essential role of masculine energies in ‘getting the job done’, let’s appreciate the strength inherent in feminine qualities. The goal is to attain a glorious balance, recognizing the synergy between both elements for a poised and anchored existence.