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A Tale of Shifting EnergiesShivani Baghel 

Shivani Baghel
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In the quest for balance and harmony, humanity finds itself in a tale of shifting energies, where the yin and yang dance together, shaping our world and our future.

Chinese philosophy delves deep into the concept of Yin and Yang, exploring the balance between feminine and masculine energies. While Yang represents brightness, direction, and assertiveness, Yin embodies darkness, mystery, and intuition. Together, they maintain the synchronisation of the universe.

Contemplating these energies, questions arise about the imbalance in our world. Despite our advancements, inequality persists, with a vast wealth gap and an environmental crisis.

How did we stray so far from equilibrium, and when did our focus narrow to ego-centric pursuits?

The foundations of the world that we live in today find their roots in the changes that happened from the 15th Century up until the 20th Century. Today’s trade systems, financial systems, and industrial innovations are by-products of the imperial era. This is the period where we saw the rise and fall of the global colonial economy. Of exploitation of resources and growth of modern commerce. While I am interested in the political aspects of this period, the focus of this conversation rests on energy. And this is the period of a predominant yang and a mostly dormant yin. It’s an era of direction, of assertiveness, of survival, of domination. It’s also an era of detachment from the natural world and the beginning of a shift towards a material world. A creation of a new hierarchy where humans are detached from their earthly surroundings, superior to it.

We hear great tales from this period, hailing the marvellous, charismatic leaders of that time. Of Christopher Columbus and his adventures, of Napoleon Bonaparte and his astute military leadership, of the great kings and their courage. Pages in history books are covered with praises of Yang values. But where I wonder, were all the female leaders? Where were the Michelle Obamas and Angela Merkels of that time? Where did the Yin go hiding? If we visualize the leadership distribution during this time, it would look something like this:

Male leadership represented by the dominant white space on left. Female leadership represented by the smaller negative space on right. (Leadership distribution from 15th to early 20th Century)


Interestingly, something started to shift. A change seemed to be underway towards the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. We see a period of decolonization, the rise of democracy, the industrial revolution, and the entering of women into the workforce. There seemed to be a shift of focus from “individualistic benefit” to a focus on “collective good”. Notions of equality and human rights started emerging. “Softer topics” and “delicate conversations” started to circle around.

We see non-violent, yin embracing leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela pave the way for independence and equality. We see Rosa Parks and her courage that accelerated the Civil Rights Movement. We see globalization and the opening of the world to diverse thoughts. We see women breaking barriers across all industries – Marie Curie, Earhart, Mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi, and Oprah Winfrey to name a few. We witness a certain change in energy, a search for equilibrium.

The visual we saw before starts to look like this:

Slight increase in female leadership towards the end of 20th Century, as illustrated by expanding black region. Yin is starting to wake up, give out a big yawn and stretch.

While female energy is starting to expand, the rate of expansion is still too slow. The World Inequality Report 2022 provides the first estimates of gender inequality in global earnings. Overall, women’s share of total income from work neared 30% in 1990 and stands at less than 35% today.

In a gender-equal world, women would earn 50% of all global income. However, in the past 30 years, progress has been very slow at the global level, and dynamics have been different across countries, with some recording progress but others seeing reductions in women’s share of earnings. These statistics look grimmer when we look at female representation in leadership roles across different sectors, which show that we live in a world where history has been shaped and written by men, a world where the foundations are built on yang. This results in over-emphasis on masculine values of growth and single directional activity. On the material, rational world over the natural, mystical world. It results in reduced empathy, descent in the importance of harmony, and negligence of long-term sustenance.


To create an equitable world we need to first balance the energies that are leading and shaping this world. A yang-led world has got us this far but to go further we would need the support of yin. We would need not only strong female leaders in key positions across all fields and domains but also kind male leaders who are empathic, courageous, and tuned into their yin. It’s time for yin to expand and for yang to make space for her.

Where we are and what we need:

One true future. A balance of male and female energy.

The future we want to create is achievable. A future where we live in tune with the planet and all its inhabitants. There are many ways to realise it and it starts with the leadership we choose. It starts with rebalancing our energies. It starts with refinding Yin. It starts with equal representation.



Shivani is a seasoned tech leader, speaker and author with a career spanning multiple geographies. She is aware of the impact of existing financial and legal frameworks and their limitations in addressing social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Recognising the crucial role of effective leadership in addressing these issues, Shivani actively strives to empower historically underrepresented voices. Learn more here.


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