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What do we show our children?

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I’ve just had a good chat with a friend. She had a top-notch job in finance before having her children. Since moving out of London, she’s dedicated her life to bringing up her children. She’s made that decision with her husband and it’s what she thought was best for her family.

Now she feels she ought to get a job, to show her daughter and son a good example. She doesn’t want them to think that a woman’s job is at home while a man goes out to work. In reality, as she points out, she does have a job – childcare – she’s just not paid for it as it is her own children. If she took in some children as a childminder, then she would have a job.

I have similar issues. I tell my children about the great job I had in the past but she has no evidence of it. I battle hard not to point out that the mothers who do work full-time are not there when their children come home from school. I don’t want to be judgemental but I know, for me, that wasn’t the answer.

My mother worked in the City before giving up work for a while to have children. She subsequently worked in a much lower-skilled job, which was probably a waste of her talents. Yet, I work from home, get little status from the work I do and definitely few public pats on the back. I feel embarassed about the work I do now, rather than proud, though the reasons I do take less enjoyable work is for my children.

The sacrifice is there but I can’t burden my children with that knowledge. Meanwhile, what do I tell them about what Mummy does for a job?

Is a woman’s place really at home?

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Read this fascinating account in The Guardian of one woman who decided her place was not in her home with her children but up the road. Rahna Reiko Rizzuto  realised that the life of a full-time parent wasn’t for her – and as a result she was subjected to abuse and media vitriol.

She says her decision to be a part-time mother has turned out for the best for not just her – but her children and former husband.  She has the same amount of time with her children as many divorced fathers but has been viciously criticised as a bad mother for her choice.

Not many women would choose this path but I do admire her honesty and bravery in talking about it. It seems to me that as father’s become more involved with parenting, these kinds of choices may stop being so controversial and ultimately become just another way to run a family.

I’d be really interested to hear what anyone else thinks about Rahna’s choice?

Fantastic London agency tackling issue of getting mother’s back to work

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I love the idea of this wonderful recruitment agency Women Like Us which aims to help women back into part-time work after leaving the workplace to have a family. The co-founders Karen Mattison and Emma  Stewart set up the agency in 2005 after discovering a need from employers for flexible, part-time staff with skills.

Since setting up the agency which covers London, they have both been awarded the MBE.

The Guardian wrote about them in 2010 and the article is an excellent read.

Now we need more agencies like this around the country to help other women looking for fulfilling but flexible work.

Women’s Hour discuss SAHM or working?

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Women’s Hour continued their analysis of the choices women make around working with a phone in. Catch up with their listen again service.


Woman’s Hour – If money were no object, would you go to work or stay at home?

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2012 at 10:45 am



Jane Garvey (copyright BBC)

An interesting debate on Woman’s Hour today posing the question, ‘If you had the money to choose, would you stay at home or go to work?’

The two women interviewed Lorraine Candy, Editor in Chief of British Elle and columnist for the Daily Mail, and journalist and novelist Lucy Cavendish,are inevitably well-off with great careers, fantastic supportive husbands and with four children each.  Of course, they defend their working while wishing they could also be there for their kids. It always seems that the most successful women are as agonised by their choice as the rest of us.

My reaction to the question was that I’d probably end up doing exactly what I do anyway, which is muddle along, hoping to get interesting work and at the same time, being as available as possible for my children. If I won the lottery, once I’d had lots of facials, bought lots of clothes and been on some fancy holidays, I’d probably want to set up some sort of business. I think work is simply vital for everyone.

Anyway, have a listen to the interview and tell me what you would do if you could choose?

Is there a gender bias in the culture world?

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm


Working in the arts and heritage industry is often seen as a more women-friendly environment but it seems that maybe pay is not equal even there.

As part of the Guardian’s Women in the Arts week, they have launched a poll to discover if women are paid less than their male contemporaries.

The arts and heritage world – galleries, theatres, and so on – has a tradition of being very female-dominated. For many women, they can seem like dream jobs, working in stimulating and beautiful environments, discussing issues with higher values such as art, philosophy and history. Yet for all the lovely environment, it’s not all about great cafes and cupcakes. Women should be earning as much as their male counterparts. Knowing about fine art is as much a  specialist skill as knowing about engineering but it’s not perceived as such.

Unfortunately, the figures of women working echo many other work environments. There are less women in the top jobs in the arts world than men. They simply begin to drop out as they move up the ladder.

The Guardian article says:”

Arts Council England’s NPO Equality Impact Assessment also shows the percentage of women employed drops the further up the pay scale you go.

Research agreed that women are not only more qualified than men in the arts, but their overall numbers are increasing. However, Clore’s Women in leadership in the creative and cultural sector report finds 2.5 male leaders to every female leader and that women are outnumbered by men in the most senior roles.

Are women dropping out of the career race because of family commitments? Does a career break when starting a family allow men to leapfrog them on the careeer ladder or do women  prefer to work at a level they feel comfortable in, rather than push for the top?  The Guardian hopes to investigate some of these issues in the coming week to see if they can discover the answers.

What do you think?