Today is International Women’s Day. I am very keen to be involved with women’s issues, but there is such a broad range of topics that I have to pick an area of interest. For 2013 I am focusing on women in business, mainly because it is something I am exploring at the moment.
I find it incredible here in the UK that women are still being held back in the professional circuit. We cannot get ahead in our careers because of childcare issues. That is a basic fact. Yes, there are some women, and it is a very small minority, who seem to prove that you can have it all. By having it all I mean the loving family, the happy domestic life, and the successful, rewarding career.
In my experience, women still struggle to get ahead in business. I have been rejected for more high-end graduate jobs during my 20s than I care to remember. Most of those were in the media industry, so I accept that comes with its own set of issues. But I am also convinced that a lot of it was down to my gender. I am a woman of childbearing age (and yes, currently pregnant with my second child). Why should I be penalised for honouring my biological clock?
I know that corporate businesses do not intentionally discriminate against women. They couldn’t in this climate, what with all the employment law issues being thrown around. But the fact remains that women have to make very tough choices when the time comes to have children. We either have our children at a younger age, giving us time to study and develop our careers as the children grow older, or we struggle to combine work and childcare.
This issue could be debated for evermore. For now I will leave it there, but I am keen to hear from other women in similar situations. How do you find managing your career while having children? Have you taken a career break, and do you worry about the impact this will have on your employment chances? Or have you decided to focus on your family and forsake your career altogether?
Today I am attending a business networking event in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. It starts at 12:00pm at Unity, Garth Street, Hanley. Check out the Linked In group for details, and pop along if you are in the area. Have a lovely day!
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