1. Gender quotas
Be it on to state boards or corporate boards. Elevating white, educated, relatively privileged women to positions of power and influence isn’t really going to have much of a revolutionary impact. Unless the reasons for the current imbalance includes a sober squaring up to reasons for the lack of diversity in the level below i.e. equality in the broadest sense.
2. The dilemma of hanging on to a ‘career’ after having children
The prevailing narrative is concerned with the assumed entitlement to hang on to a career, with the ever-so-subtle understanding that it is more important, worthy work; therefore a no-brainer. Buoyed up on a third level education and therefore invested with more meaning, the safeguarding of one’s career is a priority. Threats to this include the risk of “having to undertake low-skilled work” and the understanding that these women shouldn’t have to do this. Presumably this is for other women to undertake instead, without any of their fanciful notions of pursuing their personal aspirations for improvement or access to the high table of success considered a right or a fight in the mix.
3. The consensus on the apparent elimination of discrimination, misogyny or sexism in the workplace or society
White middle class workplaces tend to have a considerably lower tolerance for that these days. They also have more effective recourse to action and protection, if it does arise. Just because other white middle class women don’t experience it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Some of my friends’ friends are black and working class. Ghastly. More rioja?
4. The right to funded childcare services for the purposes of returning to employment only
Creche care and childminding support is also an integral component in the support apparatus women depend on to return to education to enable them broaden their employment and well-being prospects. And maybe one day attend that conference on gender quotas. That’s without due consideration to the incompatibility of current provision with the haphazard unsociable hours within the services industry that many have no choice but to work in.
5. The revolutionary impact of social media
When it is predominantly concerned with narrow discussions around points 1 – 4, and a platform for selective research findings that support the portrayal of white middle class mothers as the most put-upon group of women in Ireland , it’s hardly surprising.
Were you at the same international-women’s-day-networking-thing I was at this week, Tenderness? Certainly sounds like it. Did you have the chicken or the fish? There was no beef on the menu. I thought that was quite pointed actually.
The Hear Me Howl one? Fab, wasn’t it. I particularly loved the Nell McCafferty lookalike competition. Although I didn’t get why the waiters were all chained to each other.
I enjoyed it right up to the point where the middle managers at my table fought all the deputy head of departments for the pink tampon holders in the goodie bags. When the VPs started throwing their business cards at the assistant managers, I Ieft.
You didn’t miss much after that. Apart from Terry Prone getting stuck in the loo for half an hour #hearmehowl #literally