Women and the P Word – City Eye Blog

481Women and Power.  Women can’t hack it?  More urban myths.

Just this week Isabel Allende was elected as Head of Senate in Chile. In December there was another election, to decide which of the two women contenders would be President. Michel Bachelet was elected for a second time as President, largely because she had  done such a good job on the economy.   Unfortunately for us, she had to give up her role as UNWomen’s ambassador, appointed by Kofi Annan. When she visited here to support UNwomenUK, Jane Martinson, Women’s Editor at the Guardian wrote an excellent piece.

 Women don’t want power? They thrive on it.

Where’s the money for UNwomen?

Michel Bachelet needed to stand down as ambassador to be able to stand for President,  but in some places it was reported as Bachelet quits.   Powerful women don’t usually get a friendly press.

It seems new urban myths have arisen, which are that “there aren’t’ enough talented successful women” at the top in most professions. Yet we have seen with Women in Science, some outstanding physicists and astronomers, Aderin Pocock and Bell Burnell, to mention but two. Then Athene Donald heads up Equality at The Royal Society.

The next myth,  rather a dangerous one, is that women don’t want the top jobs, they’d rather be home with their families, because family is too demanding.

The Women’s room is a resource of women in all disciplines to be able to provide a speaker in any area. So its really not necessary to have a male “expert” speaking on breast feeding.   When WIJ (women in Journalism) did a survey as to the paucity of women on BBC, in newspapers and other media, they high lighted a growing tendency to render all the powerful women invisible.

The next myth,  rather a dangerous one, is that women don’t want the top jobs, they’d rather be home with their families, because family is too demanding.

As to the demands of family, child care provision, and parental leave could make it easier, and a better and more equitable society, using the talent of all. Alex Crawford has 4 children, 3 daughters and feels that she is an important role model for her them.

“Her four children ask why she can’t work at their school but Alex Crawford, the award winning Sky News reporter, …said it was offensive and sexist to even ask whether female war correspondents could juggle motherhood and frontline journalism.”

People are beginning to believe that women don’t want power, which is a nonsense as soon as you look elsewhere around the world.  It is not a natural condition, but rather a conditioned response in some societies. Many of the top women in business and the city here, are women from abroad, like the head of Veolia, who find them selves perplexed that women are not in positions of power.

In her address to the law society last year, President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, said

“If career progression was based on pure merit, some male business leaders and law firm senior partners would never even have seen the paintings on the boardroom wall. This is disappointing for the talented women who lose out, but is also damaging to the organizations which lose what they have to offer.”   http://tinyurl.com/nshdl2k

Head of News at the BBC, James Harding, when interviewed, admitted that many of the invisible women, in the back room, as also in the Times were excellent, but that it was difficult to find women for the couch. Among Science commentators “After Jocelyn who is there?” he said.

Perhaps by now he has discovered Dame Athene Donald and the Hooke committee at the Royal Society.  If presenting speakers are all “white male stale” the list of submissions is sent back.

Don’t forget the two most powerful women in Europe are Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde.  Immediately to the West, two women, former Presidents of Ireland, Mary Mcaleese and Mary Robinson.

Women don’t want power? They thrive on it.

About the author

City Eye became interested in Overlooked and Overshadowed women, both in contemporary times and through out history. The former would include the women passed over for the Nobel in favour of their male colleagues. The later would be the wives of famous men, such as Mrs. Mandela. Her study of women written out of history, led her to interviews with interesting and inspirational women, (and some men). Extracts will be published in the articles. In no way is this men versus women, as to who is better. Simply that an overly macho, military, testosterone fueled environment, mainly men, needs the balancing attributes, often, though not exclusively, assigned to women: caring, conciliation, communication. Find out more: City Eye Blog ©christina ionthecity.wordpress.com

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