When the editorial team at Networking Times decided to dedicate the first issue of 2003 to the women who make up 70 percent of the networking profession, we were not setting out to make a “Women Only” issue. Instead, we wanted to start the year by celebrating the feminine qualities, practiced by man and woman alike, that are at the root of success in every networking business and that are having a ripple effect throughout the world economy. Around the middle of last century, in the aftermath of WWII, a famous French philosopher wrote: “Le 21ème siècle sera féminin ou ne sera pas.” The 21st century will be feminine—or will not be. Intuition told him that if humankind continued to allow the power struggles that ran rampant during that time, we might very well not see a future, due to the destructive nature of our separation-based beliefs. Some 50 years later, at the dawn of the 21st century, this prescience stares us in the face as a stark reality.

What exactly are “feminine” qualities? The word “feminine” naturally evokes visions of beauty, grace, honesty, love, compassion, sympathy, kindness, service, emotions, heart energy, transparency, generosity, poetry, tears and laughter. How do these feminine values translate into the networking workplace? In contrast to standard hierarchies, led from the top down, networks function in a spiderweb-like and inclusive manner. Power comes from sharing information, not from hoarding or withholding it.

Instead of managers and CEO’s, there are teachers and coaches.

There are no supervisors, no hierarchical distinctions, no job titles; networking businesses are home based, led from a “kitchen table” center, and built on open communication, front-line empowerment, comfort with diversity, and an abiding focus on relationships and partnership.

Gabriel Media Group’s mission is Global Prosperity Through a Philanthropic Economy™. The tagline of Networking Times is Moving the Heart of Business™. When Chris and I founded the company and the magazine, we wanted to give an authentic voice to the unique contribution networkers are making through their “feminine” leadership style. (By the way, we also made the magazine exactly this size so it would fit in a woman’s purse!) As it turns out, these “feminine” skills, talents and attitudes that networkers are manifesting so well, correspond exactly to the demands of our evolving networking-based economy.

We at GMG believe the world—now, more than ever—needs the skills, talents, insights, and gifts that women leaders bring to the table. We also believe that the economic and technological changes in these networking times will give women a powerful advantage in the years ahead, and this will prove to be an irresistible good for the world. If we want a new world order based on global prosperity and peace, we will all need to nurture and employ our feminine qualities to create a truly philanthropic or people-centered economy.

This issue is dedicated to the women and men who recognize that the time has come for us to honor our feminine qualities and celebrate the interconnectedness of all life. In truth, we are all androgynous beings with a male and female aspect; our souls are genderless. The new age we are entering will have totally a new world view and values of life, in which women give their significant contribution of feminine qualities to men, and use their feminine power for peace. Give feminine leadership a chance and non-violence will effortlessly be the religion of the new millennium. Let the head and heart unite and create a new way of being in these networking times.

Postscript As we announced in the December 2002 issue of Networking Times (“Leadoff,” page 5), Chris and I plan to launch the Gabriel Foundation, an educational foundation for world peace, in January, 2003. The mission of our foundation is “Educating children of all ages in philosophies of love and celebration of cultural diversity.” As announced, Gabriel Media Group, Inc., will contribute five percent of its revenue this year to the Gabriel Foundation. Networking Times will be covering the projects and initiatives sponsored by the foundation in future issues. For further information on the works of the Gabriel Foundation, please contact us at gabrielfoundation@networkingtimes.com.

JOSEPHINE GROSS, Ph.D., is the co-founder of Gabriel Media Group, Inc., publishers of Networking Times.