Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Follow Up

BBC Documentary asking "Why can't women succeed in the workplace?"

Solution, from my point of view:

6 months mandatory paternity leave.

Wont go down easy with bosses and chiefs of industry, but it's absolutely, 100% the easiest/best/only option. The others being:

Women stop having children. (downsides would include destruction of human race)
Women go back to the home. (About as fun an option as above)
Being able to control the female "biological clock". (we don't yet have the science)

We need to get more men in the home. Simple as. Men find it easier to succeed because they don't have the pressures of family - they have a wife to take care of that for them. Women find it immeasurably harder to do the same as men if they don't have the support network that men do (ie a wife/unpaid domestic labour*). In order to get more women into careers, you have to get more men into the home. Once it's seen as "normal" for men to stay at home if they want to (or if their wife needs them to) then it should follow** that it will be seen as "normal" for women to be bosses. We need to dissociate gender-roles from biological sex.

Interesting point raised about half-way through, is that women in investment banking are eminently desirable, because it would probably stabilize economic trends. High levels of testosterone are responsible for the boom-and-bust phenomenon, as men take more risks. Women as women (not women behaving like men - see previous post) are better at assessing those risks, and while they wouldn't "boom" quite as often, they'd be far less likely to go bust.

* The "unpaid" being the important part. Most women find there's no point in earning a top salary if most of it has to go on hiring the nanny, chef and cleaner. If they could get that for free, they'd most likely keep working instead of staying at home.
**I say should, but there's a bit more to it than that.

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