Given the findings by the EHRC yesterday, which I blogged, I find it deeply unhelpful and pessmistic for Tracy Corrigan to be writing that women "should give the City a miss". She paints the depressing picture of the City businesses, of how women are endangered species, but then says, you know what, because of that, women - just don't bother. How defeatist is that? What we need to do when we find further evidence of inequality as the report did, is promote collective action of women backed by Feminist values of equality to achieve better conditions and pay for women like men have. This is what she should be saying. By conceding to defeat, she is accepting the inequalities as though they are given, like they are natural, where as instead she should be challenging the social and historical context and basis for their presence.
What she should be saying is that we need to promote national policies that tackle childcare and paternity/maternity issues, instead of saying women should accept their 'fate'. It does little to improve confidence to mobilise the wider Feminist goal of collective action when you get women themselves speaking about the dire prospects for women in the City as a reason they shouldn't even bother to try and obtain a career in the City. The City contains some of the most cleverest people around (and some of the most stupidest), they are needed to take the fight for equality.
She, as did Ian Duncan Smith, has a traditional attitude to the family childcare, as she explains the stress and pressure one male banker suffered from, and then says:
"Young women contemplating a similar career path should know what they are in for. Their chances of pulling in the big bucks are statistically slim. If they take maternity leave, their colleagues are more likely to poach their clients than offer support. Male peers are better at pitching for big bonuses; as one respondent told the commission: [Women] "don't tend to be the ones saying, 'If you don't pay me I am going to leave', so you end up greasing the squeakiest wheel." And when women come back from maternity leave, their careers may be permanently on ice."Well this is precisely why I am arguing for paternity and maternity laws to be equalised. Then, it would not only be women who have the option for proper time off work when having children. Furthermore, there needs to be attempts to change the attitudes of society towards women working and having children. This will not be done by simply going, forget the big time, it's a man's world!
Finally, in an attempt to push women away from the City, she recommends we take up engineering. How thoughtful.