Column: Time for women to have equal chance

editorial image

Now I’m no ardent burn-your-bra feminist who hates all men with a passion but I do believe that in 2018 to discover there are still vast barriers for women is shocking.

Last year’s revelations that the BBC paid some of its males presenters an awful lot more money that the females they were often sitting beside was ridiculous. Putting aside that the majority of the salaries paid to these people seemed to be excessive – especially since I was paying for it through my TV licence – I’ve always believed that if folk are doing the same job then they should be paid the same money.

However, we’re still hearing of too many occasions when that’s simply not the case.

I know it is a different work level than the majority of us are involved in but last week’s case of the Bank of England choosing the only man on a shortlist for a position on its monetary policy committee beggars believe.

Apparently only one of the members of the nine-strong group is female ... which doesn’t seem balanced to me – especially given how many women nowadays handle their own or their families’ finances.

This news followed hot on the heels of a review that was looking at why so few women were on the boards of leading companies.

Some of the ‘excuses’, if you can call them that, were appalling and made you wonder if it was 1918 not 2018!

They ranged from “all the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up” to “the issues covered are extremely complex”.

All the responses were condescending but I think the one that really annoyed me was “there aren’t enough 
senior women in this sector”. Of course, there aren’t and if you don’t give them the opportunity to flourish and gain more experience there never will be.

Yet all this comes at a time when we have a female Prime Minister and a female Scottish First Minister.

I would like to think that their example of achieving their dreams is something that my granddaughter can aspire to in years to come.

I’m not necessarily wanting her to be a Prime Minister or a captain of industry, but I do want her to be able to have a goal and not find that her sex puts barriers in her way.

Life gives you enough challenges without gender proving a hurdle in your battle to succeed.