The Path to Feminine Agility

My journey to “Feminine Agility” began long before the term found a place in my consciousness. In the eighties, as a young woman who had chosen computer science, I entered a world dominated by men.

Born in Germany, I emigrated to Namibia at the age of 7 and thus grew up amidst the wild beauty of the African savannah. It was my studies that drew me to Cape Town. There, at the university, I studied computer science. Surrounded by professors from all over the world, especially from the USA and the UK, I encountered a computer for the first time, as well as the fascinating field of artificial intelligence.

This early experience marked the beginning of my engagement with two worlds: the natural and the technological. As a child in Namibia, I had experienced a deep connection to nature, intuition, and interpersonal relationships. The computer – the symbol of the technical world – represented a fundamentally different reality for me, a world of machines that stood in sharp contrast to the organic and intuitive world of nature.

In 1984, I returned to Europe. Bosch recognized my qualifications and hired me at the same level as German graduate engineers. This opportunity came after a successful freelance project. At Bosch, I learned the first steps in the world of computer science and also my way in a male-dominated environment. At my introductory seminar, as the only woman among 70 engineers, it was said, it’s nice to see a woman here now and then.

During my computer science studies in South Africa, I had learned programming at a time when the role of women in software, especially in the early decades of computer programming, was still more dominant. Almost half of my computer science class at the University of Cape Town were women. This was because this course was part of the Bachelor of Science program and not an engineering degree, as in Germany.

My first year of study coincided with the birth of the IBM PC. The dream of owning a personal computer followed me, yet it would take over a decade before I could fulfill this wish. In the 1990s, as an independent trainer for the Java programming language and a mother of two children, I rode the wave of the newly born internet. The World Wide Web became my field of work, and Java – freely available for my first PC from Vobis – became my tool.

Together with colleagues, I launched a project that utilized the possibilities of the internet to advertise books sold on Amazon. We practiced search engine optimization (SEO) at a time when the internet was still populated by a multitude of different search engines. But then came Google and changed everything. Google’s innovative search technology revolutionized the internet, and soon Google dominated the market. Our traffic ran 80% through Google, but with the constantly adjusted algorithms, our share of the pie shrank.

This development led me to reflect on the nature and significance of visions. “Reaching for the stars” became my motto as I began to engage more deeply with the concept of vision. Technology has a short lifecycle. The mission a person feels lasts a lifetime. When technology becomes a tool to more effectively implement the vision in the world, then every new, faster technology becomes a gift.

The early years of the internet and my work as a Java trainer revealed to me the complex nature of digital landscapes. They reminded me more of the African savannah than of a coffee machine. It was the sum of human relationships that brought complexity into the technical world. Teamwork became a necessity, as individual programmers could no longer master the growing systems alone.

The attempt to steer software projects with traditional methods of division of labor soon reached its limits. The exponentially growing systems demanded new approaches. In the nineties, I participated in the development of a computer game and recognized that empirical development methods and agility were indispensable. Conflicts within the team and the need for creativity and enthusiasm for creating something new led me to Scrum – an approach that repackaged empirical procedure in a way that was unique.

These insights and experiences laid the groundwork for my path to Feminine Agility, a concept that places the connection of intuitive leadership and self-organized teams at its core.

Pioneering Work

Starting in 2007, I consciously embarked on the Scrum path, motivated by my relentless search for improved methods of collaboration within organizations. My earlier experiences as a Java and object-oriented programming trainer had already confronted me with the necessity of thinking beyond traditional work methods. The discovery of systemic constellations, a method developed by Bert Hellinger, marked a turning point in my understanding of organizational and interpersonal dynamics. My deep dive into coaching, group dynamics, sociodrama, and particularly Nonviolent Communication according to Marshall Rosenberg, enriched my toolkit for supporting people and teams through change processes. I led training groups and participated in hundreds of constellations. I also experienced Bert Hellinger live in action.

My fascination with Scrum was rooted mainly in the concept of self-organizing teams. This concept reflected my realization that, in the growing complexity of the internet and the development of Java systems, the full potential of each team member is essential. A team must be able to unfold and utilize its collective potential.

The publication of the Agile Manifesto in 2001 gave the concept of agility a framework and a name. Scrum had existed since the early nineties and was something radically new. The concepts of self-organization and sprints fundamentally changed my perspective on projects and teamwork. The realization that time is relative and that teams can effectively shape their own dynamics and structures was revolutionary.


The difference between “Clock-Time” and “Einstein-Time” is evident in the structure of a sprint. The question of what can be achieved in two weeks differs fundamentally from the question of how long twenty tasks will take. When the duration of a sprint is fixed, the time a task takes becomes relative. Albert Einstein noted that time is relative—a realization that also plays an important role in the context of Scrum.

Self-Organizing Teams: A New Way of Working

A self-organizing team fundamentally differs from a group led by a team leader who assigns tasks and monitors their completion. The relationships within a genuine self-organizing team are lateral, not hierarchical. This approach fosters each team member’s accountability, creativity, and initiative and forms the basis for agile work.

Pioneering Scrum

With the growing popularity of Scrum in Europe, I witnessed and accompanied many teams embarking on the journey to learn and integrate Scrum into their work processes. The experiences from these encounters strengthened my belief that agile principles, especially the primacy of individuals and interactions over processes and tools, echo values perceived as feminine, such as relationship, connection, and interaction.

As Scrum grew in Europe, I met many teams in companies or open courses wanting to learn Scrum. Many participants had a wealth of experience with Scrum and came to the trainings to exchange with others. I became a proficient facilitator, creating spaces where participants could learn from each other and I from them.

What I Learned in Those Years

In those first years, I encountered mega-successful Scrum teams across Europe. Self-organized teams that can develop their full potential become exponentially creative. Such teams existed in both large and small companies, experimenting with Scrum and achieving great success. These were almost always grassroots movements within companies. The first principle of the Agile Manifesto was central:

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work, we have come to value individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”

This principle can be interpreted to mean that qualities seen as feminine, such as relationships, connection, and interaction, are more important than masculine principles. By “processes,” it means a structure that precisely dictates what to do, like on an assembly line—a masculine principle. I interpret the Agile Manifesto as indicating that all values listed on the left side are at their core feminine qualities. The values on the right side, which are not as cherished, are at their core masculine principles.

It was a joy to work with these teams. The executives supported the agile mindset and led by example. Thus, I was exposed to projects in very innovative areas, like car sharing, electric mobility, connected drive projects, and the competition with Dropbox in the cloud sector. In Sweden, colleagues reported on Spotify. Even companies like Google and Tesla embraced the agile mindset. Microsoft switched to agility in software development.

Challenges of the Agile Movement

The rapid spread and success of agile methods also brought challenges. The commercial co-option and departure from the core principles of agility highlighted the limits of a purely instrumental application of Scrum. Processes and tools became more important than people and their relationships. The term Scrum became scorched earth in many companies. Ken Schwaber’s criticism of a dilution of agile frameworks by, as I would describe it, a masculine mindset, warned of the consequences of this development. His 2013 blog post “unSAFe at any speed” triggered a real shitstorm. He was right.

The Next Wave

My journey with Scrum and the experiences as a pioneer in this field have taught me that true agility goes beyond technical aspects and requires a cultural transformation that values and integrates both feminine and masculine principles.

The next wave of agility, which I am now experiencing, promises an even stronger emphasis on these integrative approaches, essential for addressing the challenges of our time.

Femine Power

My quest for solutions to human challenges continued.

As a pioneer in agile leadership, I increasingly encountered my own internal glass ceilings. I was one of the very few women who worked as a Scrum trainer, navigating a male-dominated territory. I was paid as well as any man and I was respected and treated well. Nonetheless, I felt the presence of my own internal impostor syndrome.

What happened? Scrum was rapidly spreading throughout the software domain. Every major company in telecommunications, the automotive industry, the pharmaceutical industry, banks, insurance, and tech companies experienced this shift. This quickly led to opposition. When a company transforms from a hierarchically led organization to a more holarchically organized one, tensions arise.

My Path to Feminine Power

The work of Claire Zammit marks a significant milestone for women seeking to understand and shape their relationship with the whole. Her groundbreaking dissertation titled “Feminine Power as a tripartite system of relatedness” provides deep insights into the essential role of feminine energy and strength in shaping relationships and connecting to the universal whole.

Tripartite System of Connectedness

Zammit introduces a new perspective on the power of the feminine by presenting it as a tripartite system of connectedness. This model offers a framework within which women can recognize and develop their own strength, not through isolation or competition, but through deep connection with themselves, others, and life itself. I, too, embarked on this journey with Claire’s help.


The first aspect of the tripartite system concerns the relationship with oneself. Zammit argues that the discovery and unfolding of one’s own feminine power begins when women, and men as well, learn to listen to and honor their inner wisdom and intuition. This self-reference is fundamental to developing a strong inner core from which they can act authentically and relate to the world around them.

Relationship with Others

The second aspect focuses on the relationship with others. Claire Zammit emphasizes how feminine power is characterized by empathy, cohesion, and the ability to form deep emotional connections. These qualities enable women to form strong and supportive communities in which growth, healing, and transformation are possible.

Relationship with Life

The third and most comprehensive aspect is the relationship with life itself. It involves recognizing that we are part of something greater and that our actions and decisions resonate with the deeper currents of life. Zammit shows that understanding and integrating this aspect empowers women to act with greater confidence and a sense of their place in the world.

Claire Zammit’s work offers women a way to understand their own development and how they act in the world. It is an invitation to move beyond traditional role patterns and discover a new kind of power – one based on connectedness, cooperation, and awareness of the larger whole.

Claire Zammit not only makes an important contribution to feminist theory and practice but also offers practical ways for women to recognize their unique strengths and apply them for the benefit of their communities and the world. Her work encourages women to embrace the transformative power of feminine energy and see themselves as active co-creators of an integrated, conscious, and connected world.


Amid the global challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I found an unexpected opportunity: the world of online training opened up to me. This phase became a turning point in my journey to discover and promote feminine strengths in the agile world. The invitation to thousands of women to engage in the growing field of agility and to enter into dialogue with them marked the beginning of an intensive research journey. Inspired by my work with Claire and exchanges in my POD groups, I entered a phase of personal growth that revealed deep insights into the needs and desires of women in technology-oriented professions.

Surprising Feedback and the Realization of Gender Bias

The feedback I received from participating women was both phenomenal and surprising. I was deeply moved by the openness and honesty with which women shared their experiences, desires, and perceived gender biases. It became clear that the gender bias in the technology and software industry was much larger and more profound than I had imagined. Working with Claire allowed me to recognize and understand women’s immense longing for a stronger connection to the feminine – both professionally and personally.

Historically, societies have often oriented themselves towards male-dominated knowledge and behaviors, attempting to fit into a patriarchal system that Shaef calls the “white male system.” The insights from the chapter “The Rise of Women” show that this approach has not been successful for many. The proposed solution is to find a new orientation point, a “new North Star.” This involves realigning and reconnecting with the feminine.

This idea emphasizes the need to rethink our perspectives and methods to promote a more inclusive and balanced understanding of knowledge and being. It’s about bringing values and practices traditionally seen as feminine, such as empathy, cooperation, and care, to the forefront. This shift could help overcome the imbalances and limitations resulting from clinging to a predominantly masculine paradigm.

Implementing this idea in practical actions requires profound rethinking in many areas of our

The Feminine Agility Quest

During the Omicron Corona wave, I found myself stranded in Namibia once again. Friends invited my husband and me to join a safari into the Namibian desert. I called it my Desert Quest. Before this trip, the name “FeminineAgility” came to me. I had been on various Vision Quests with “Native Americans.” Now, this was my Vision Quest in the desert for my new project. What a journey!

Desert Quest

The transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly occurs within a cocoon. There, a struggle ensues between the old and the new imaginal cells. From these ideas, something new emerges. My Desert Quest became a mirror of this journey through the cocoon.

Our safari took us through Namibia’s Skeleton Coast to the Kunene River, then over 70 km of dunes and through challenging terrain. Although I learned to drive a Jeep in Africa at 12, this was a significant challenge for me, which I dubbed my heroine’s journey.

The first leg of our journey took us along the Skeleton Coast. It’s like a wasteland, where many snow-white skeletons lie scattered. Our guide, Simon, shared stories of failure and success. It was about pioneers who stranded on the Namibian coast and either survived or met their demise.

At dawn in the desert, I stepped out of my tent to find myself surrounded by 7 jackals. They looked at me hungrily.

They seemed like the critics in life. These are our mirrors.

As I spoke to the jackals, they became friendly beings. They were mostly curious. The same is true with critics. They reflect our inner beliefs that we are worthless and unworthy.

But miles still lay ahead of me. It was through the moving dunes. Full throttle up the next dune to the peak, then a full stop to avoid crashing on the other side. This is like real life. After every acceleration comes integration.

Guide Simon reminded us. There are only 5 rules. Rule number 1: stay in the track. This track he had blazed for us as a leader through the loose sand. He led us with great intuition, like a Jedi Knight through the challenging terrain. A misstep would have led us astray. By the way, rules number 2-5: stay in the track.

This was a metaphor I experienced with Claire Zammit on the Feminine Power journey. She guided us through the cocoon and made me aware of the next step each time. A metaphor was the following: no matter how many followers you have, in the end, you have to find “your” people.

The trip through the desert was a series of fail forwards. Being anti-fragile is the right expression. Learning from every mistake, in turbo mode. I didn’t make it up the first test dune. After the 5th failed attempt, Rudi, our technician, let the air out of the tires until they were almost flat. I wouldn’t have dared to drive with such flat tires without his guidance. So, I drove up the dune, as if on a highway. Conclusion: It’s smart to learn from others instead of having to make all the experiences yourself.

Claire became my greatest teacher in terms of feminine strength. I had the privilege of experiencing live with her for a year in a mastermind. Her ability for anti-fragility is enormous. During a planned live gathering for the mastermind, an event location, Lahaina on Hawaii, along with the whole town burned down. The entire event had to be relocated to the mainland USA at short notice.

My Desert Quest continued. It led over rugged, rocky terrain. I now greatly enjoyed sitting behind the wheel of the LandCruiser.

Back in Germany, I immediately set up my web sessions. At this point, almost everyone was in the home office and had the time and desire for my sessions. Over a hundred women were part of a web session live. It was an immense research journey.

Claire Zammit, her team, and my PODs from Feminine Power were my companions. “You cannot become yourself by yourself,” I felt this firsthand.

My Web Sessions

Question: What are your challenges

The challenges correlated with the inner barriers, that Claire described for women.

  • in business
  • in male-dominated domains
  • in the tech domain


  • not good enough
  • not being seen
  • too much
  • not being appreciated
  • not being valued

I myself was also on this journey. The more I dismantled my internal barriers, the more positive the external reflection became.
When I worked on the theme of “appreciation,” someone called me after 8 years to apologize for their behavior back then.
After I had dealt with the theme of “worthlessness,” someone showed up in my course. He told me that he had taken a course with me 10 years ago and how much it had helped him.
As a trained family constellator, I was thrilled by how systemic change takes immediate effect. Thanks to Bert Hellinger!

Relationship to the Whole

In systemic constellation work, we can make visible the relationships and their entanglements. Claire Zammit has written her doctoral thesis titled “Feminine Power as a tripartite system of relatedness.”

When I asked women what they define as feminine, the responses included relationship, connection, empathy, caring, keeping the whole in view, creativity, self-expression. There’s a wonderful book called the Athena Doctrine, which asked globally about feminine qualities. Claire Zammit has explored what positive power with feminine quality might look like.

The digital age offers unprecedented opportunities, yet these can only be fully leveraged if all participants are empowered equally. Empowering women in technology-oriented professions and leadership positions is therefore crucial to driving innovation and shaping digital transformation in a balanced and inclusive manner.

The challenge of internal glass ceilings and imposter syndrome, faced by many women in male-dominated fields, highlights the need for comprehensive support and promotion of female talents. It’s about strengthening women’s deep connection with their inner wisdom and intuition, and helping them recognize and develop their unique strengths and abilities.

Claire Zammit’s work and research on “Feminine Power as a tripartite system of relatedness” outline a path for women to redefine and strengthen their relationship with themselves, others, and life itself. By recognizing and developing their own feminine power within a tripartite system of connection – relationship with oneself, relationship with others, and relationship with life – women can discover a new kind of power based on connection, cooperation, and an awareness of the larger whole.

However, empowering women in the digital age requires more than just personal transformation. Structural changes in organizations and society are needed to create an environment that fosters diversity and inclusion and overcomes gender biases. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting expansion of online training have shown that digital platforms and tools can be used to open spaces for exchange and further education of women in the agile world.

The initiative to organize special online web sessions for women that promote agile practices and feminine values in the workplace is an example of how technology can be used to support female presence and strength in the agile community. Such offerings create an environment that enables women to discover and pursue their own paths to exert influence and power.

To successfully empower women in the digital age, it is essential for organizations and leaders to recognize and appreciate the transformative power of feminine energy. It’s about creating a culture of recognition and support where women are encouraged to take on their roles as co-creators of an integrated, conscious, and connected world. Only in this way can we address the digital and societal challenges of our time in a balanced, fair, and sustainable manner.