To the woman who thinks she should have it all

by Jen Faulkner

With the recent news that big companies will now have to report on their gender pay gap, including bonuses and stock options, this letter was an easy one to choose for this week’s column. Women earning less than men for the same role, or not having the same opportunities for promotion offered to them, is not something we should keep our opinions to ourselves about. The 1970 Act states that it is illegal to pay people differently, but it is still not doing what it set out to do, and the gap remains, with women on average earning 19% less than their male counterparts.

To the woman who thinks she should have it all,

Women, they’re never satisfied are they? They want it all and they want it now and have shouted loud and clear for years and slowly things have changed. Everyone knows full well these days that woman can do more than cook or clean and be a devil in the bedroom.

But now women expect to be able to have babies and retain positions of authority at work. Women think they have a right to take a year or more off to look after their offspring and then return to the influential position they previously held. And why shouldn’t they disappear for days at a time when their children are sick and still expect to be offered promotions as often as men are?

Are they simply being demanding or unreasonable? NO! I’ve yet to meet a women who doesn’t work as hard as the next best man for the job. And no, I’m not a man-hating feminist, I’m merely suggesting that perhaps women should have a choice and not be penalised for choosing a path that temporarily halts their career. 

If you are doing a job and doing a job well does it matter whether you are male or female? A dedicated worker will make time to do the job to the best of their ability, and if they don’t then discussing the gender pay gap is irrelevant because no one should be paid handsomely for doing a poor job.

Inequality in the workplace is a hot topic at the moment, and in 2015 it’s shocking there is still a discrepancy between the sexes. The problem is prevalent in big companies full of corporate prejudices. Where the directors are predominantly male and the pressure to be the breadwinner is rife. Sadly men aren’t immune to stereotyping either. Many work away from home more than they are comfortable with, but have jobs where they are regularly expected to do just that. Their jobs take them away from their family. Why would women want that?

Companies need to give women a fairer choice when it comes to having a career, irrespective of their personal situations. And they need to make it clear that if you are doing a job well you will be paid accordingly no matter what sex you are. Every case is as individual as the job and the person doing it.

And women, if you want a job you shouldn’t feel unable to apply for it because it is a position previously held by a man. Equally, if you are happy staying at home while your children are young, you should not be for having successfully raised a family. Being a mother requires many skills, which more than make you an ideal candidate for a variety of roles.

Shout loud about inequality. Be proud of who you are. It’s your life and your choice and if you allow yourself to feel inferior the cycle will continue.

From, someone who knows you should have the choice to have it all.

Thank you for reading, if you would like to contribute then please email editor@bristolwoman.org.uk.

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