Today, the notion of life limiting workplace gender disadvantage within the U.K work place, seems a little far fetched right? I'm afraid not.
Unfortunately, (particularly after a stint of maternity leave. Two pretty much consecutive periods of maternity leave in my case). I've come to realise that workplace gender equality is much more of a problem than I'd first thought.
In returning to work all too often it is assumed that you, the mother will either;
Reduce your working hours (this doesn't necessarily help). Ask family members to cover childcare (not always an option). Sacrifice your entire salary to pay for private child care in return for, gratefully contributing toward the UK's employment statistic. Albeit, for missing your kids & retaining ziltch of your monthly wage !!!?....yeh, thanks for that (I'll talk more about paid child care another time). Or perhaps, not return at all.
Seems limiting, right? Ok, so times they are a (slowly) changing (occasionally assisted by the introduction of legislation). Yet, a huge battle still presents itself in the breaking down of gender based work/life balanced flexibility.
Should we be surprised given the reality of our leadership split? Perhaps, it becomes a little more apparent why a gender disadvantage might exist when we consider that only 195 of our 650 parliment members are women. Are we savvy enough to understand why this might impact upon gender inequalities throughout our corporations and organisations? Ummmm.....sorry Theresa, yes!
I wonder if equilibrium will ever present itself insight of our stereotypical bias and hope we reach a point in society where our policies and procedures enable flexible working opportunities for all. If not for us, at least for our children but for us, right now?
I'm not so sure......