Bridging the gender gap and flourishing - Karen Downes
I heard Karen Lee Downes in an online interview a few months ago where she shared some of the work that her organisation — the Flourish Initiative, together with and Femme Q, were doing around bridging the gap between the masculine and feminine energies in the workplace. This subject appealed to me because I believe there needs to be more of a balance between the masculine and feminine in many spheres, especially around our current paradigm of plundering and pillaging people and the planet to make a profit.
In this episode, I speak with Karen about the work her and her partners are doing to bridge the gender gap and how we can create a better world for future generations and the planet.
During the interview we speak about her experience:
- working in Bangladesh and India in the Hunger Project for women
- being a student of Anthroposophy (works of Rudolf Steiner)
- starting out in Australia and how her and her sister set up a multimillion dollar essential oil business (In Essence) with distribution in five countries
- working in the UK with some of the biggest male-dominated mining organisations to create conscious-leadership programs
- taking 1,600 leaders from a leading airline to uncover a collective experience of "burn out"
- with her father that inspired her to do the work she does.
We covered a great deal more during the interview. If you have the inclination and are able to travel, I highly recommend the Femme Q course. If you can't travel, you can do it online as well.
Karen Downes - Social entrepreneur, Spiritual Activist, Business Consultant and Facilitator (Australia / UK / Costa Rica)
Currently projects Costa Rica | Lead for Deep Collaboration | FemmeQ
Over her 35-year career Karen has built successful companies, supported civil society organisations to transform entrenched cultural norms, worked with global business leaders, designing and delivering culture change and development programmes around the world. Karen began her career as an alternative healthcare practitioner and a student of Anthroposophy. Over the course of time she has translated spiritual practices, principles of healing and systemic change into everyday life and business. Back in the 80s & 90s she built a multi-million dollar business in alternative health care, from kitchen table-top to a exporting training programmes and product to 5 countries. At the same time working on the ground in India and Bangladesh to transform the subjugation and marginalisation of women, seen as the key to end the chronic persistence of hunger. In 2002 she moved to London, developing and leading transformational programmes and retreats. She is the founder of The Flourish Initiative a consulting and advisory service to business, co-founder of FemmeQ: Feminine Intelligence, is a member of Gender Equality in Catalyst2030 and Lead for Deep Collaboration in Bounce Beyond. Her commitment is to catalyse the necessary shift from the current system of domination to partnership and to embed the feminine principle that has been missing, into all aspects of leadership, to create a flourishing future for all.
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