December 30th, 2004


Feminism? Ha!

Some delightfully retrograde replies to the BBC's article on glass ceilings here.

Everything from:
I can only speak on behalf of my wife but I feel there is quite definitely career discrimination against women going off to have a family. My wife lectured at a college of further education and the availability of meaningful career opportunities changed radically when she told them she was pregnant. It was clear that this was all a major inconvenience and my wife is convinced to this day that had her job not been protected by law, she would have been obliged to leave.


I used to think that the glass ceiling was a load of nonsense but now that I am in early 30s, I have seen first-hand evidence that it exists. Business has been a traditionally male domain so the qualities that are seen as desirable in order to succeed are male - aggression, single-mindedness, ruthlessness, inability to admit to mistakes. Traditional "female" qualities such as good communication skills and multi tasking are valued but are simply not given as much credence as male ones so the cycle persists.


As a research biologist, I found that running a home and doing full-time productive research are incompatible. I could not put in the hours required to furthering my career without entrusting my child to a carer. As I didn't want to have someone else bringing up my child, I elected to put career on the back burner. I'm now fifty and looking for a research position! I would do the same again. I do not know what the answer is - women have the babies.

with the occasional ray of sunshine like:

I'm a male working for a major multinational household brand, and have to say I think this is nonsense. Most of the high positions in management, as well as directorships, are held by women in our company. This doesn't bother me in the slightest, but I don't see any evidence of this so-called glass ceiling here.

Which indicates that there are places where women managers are commonplace.

All three of my managers in my current job are female, as is the head of the company I'm part of. I don't know what the overall situation is like though.