We are shifting out of the patriarchy. The old model built for men does not work for us women as we read in Anne-Marie Slaughter's piece, "Why Women Still Can't Have it All." I admire Slaughter. I have moderated panels and presented at conferences on security where she has also moderated. I agree with her. Except there is one major difference that allows me to have it all; I am a Social Entrepreneur. I don't take this for granted and invite women to design the world they wish to live in.
I predict women will be the next wave of Social Entrepreneurs who still get to write books, impact government policy, earn a living, hug our kids, love and be loved by our husbands, get our sleep, exercise, moderate panels, give talks, teach, write columns with authority and change the conversation within government and business. We will do this on our own terms.
Roles shift for women all the time. It is the game changing women who help the rest of society make the transition to a more meaningful balanced life with rights for women. I interviewed the Sisters at their Motherhouse while studying journalism and asked them, "Why are there so few women becoming Nuns anymore?" The Sisters said, women can become social workers now. Women are choosing to have it all now they said. Wow!
The decline in women going into the Sisterhood is because women began to say, I can choose to get married. I can choose to have children. I will get paid. I can still love God if I so choose, all the while lifting those in need in my community out of despair and into empowerment. Bravo! These Sisters reminded me that women can break out of old models of service and leadership and build new models to design a fulfilling life of purpose, success and service. Women game changers are masters of their own destiny.
As we shift out of the patriarchy, women in nations such as Afghanistan are taking the veil off of the old way and saying, "I will learn to read!" Some oppressive men are coming down harder because as we shift out of the patriarchy, it is not comfortable for them. So we must find new ways to help ourselves, all of us to make this shift so that all women can live their dreams and share their gifts.
I created my company that sources essential oils from nations rebuilding from Afghanistan to Haiti so I could help farmers grow legal crops instead of the illegal poppy to support their families. My supplier, Abdullah Arsala in Afghanistan, created a school for girls. Supporting him is my way of supporting his tribe so that they may live with dignity.
I also launched this socially responsible company, so I could earn the right to influence International Policy. I started The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. so I could one day make it loud and clear that we need to change policy internationally and demand that every major business that lands a contract for defense, building roads or any other kind of development in nations rebuilding from war or strife must commit to do the following three things: If they wish to land these lucrative government contracts they must train locals in the countries they go into, they must provide literacy at lunch time for the employees and their families and they must provide a health care professional so that the women can have their annual exam and support her needs and those of her family and not die before her 40th birthday.
That is my deepest wish, this change in policy on an international scale. This cycle of war and poverty will be broken when the views of women are heard in new ways.
Social Entrepreneurs are the new Social Workers. Just like the Sisters said as many of them became social workers, "We will not give up the right to be paid, to love, be loved, to have children if we so choose throughout our service on this earth." The Social Entrepreneur is saying, I will push policy change through my business. I will help build peace without combat. I will ensure girls can read and families are not oppressed. I will be loved and love in the way I wish. And I am not waiting for permission for the conditions to be right. I will change the game and create the new conditions.
The 7 Virtues Fragrance Collection is launching at Lord & Taylor New York
October 30th. For more information visit www.the7virtues.com
Follow Barbara Stegemann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@the7virtues