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Women have it good and glass ceiling no longer exist

(18 Posts)
spokette Sun 31-May-09 21:56:01

According to CEO of M&S, Sir Stuart Rose. Personally, I think he lives in a bubblehmm.

Women are in the boardroom, employed as fighter pilots etc. However, the reality for many is that covert discrimination and unfair treatment still occurs once you have children. Also, Rose does not appear to appreciate that not only do women have to fight to be treated equally, they are also competing with men who can concentrate solely on their careers because many of them have female partners/wives who either stay at home or if they work, still undertake most of the domestic and childcare duties to the detriment of their own careers.

I found this article by Baroness Kingsmill interesting because she bemoans the economic inactivity of educated and able-bodied women who choose to stay at home and therefore give their husbands an unfair advantage in that they can concentrate 100% on their careers in a way that women cannot. She writes:

"They are the non-working wives whose raison d'etre is to make life easier for the breadwinner by organising home, family and social life. Although in our modern society there are an increasing number of dependent husbands, it is in the main wives who opt for, or who are pressured into, the role of dependant.

I am talking about the ladies who lunch, for whom aromatherapy, Nigella Lawson recipes or the Harvey Nick's sale are topics of hot debate, and for whom a little charitable fundraising constitutes work. Many of these WAGs may be intelligent, resourceful and delightful company, but it is their selfish economic status that grates."

Now I think calling stay at home wives selfish is rather inflammatory. However, she has a point about the unfair advantage the husbands of these women have over the female colleagues who don't have the luxury of a full time housekeeper/nanny.

edam Sun 31-May-09 22:01:00

Looking at Stuart Rose, not your second point, it ill behoves someone who makes his millions from female customers to treat us all like stupid cows.

Yeah, right, discrimination is all in our minds. That's why 50% of the Cabinet and shadow cabinet are female, why 50% of chief execs, judges, university vice chancellors and any other positions of power are held by women. That's why 50% of the country's wealth is owned by women. That's why half the people in that shot of the G20 leaders were women. hmm

Oh, sorry, was I in some fantasy land there?

hester Sun 31-May-09 22:01:09

So the reason there are so few women in positions like Sir Stuart's is - what? Thaat we're too thick?

What a twat.

LupusinaLlamasuit Sun 31-May-09 22:03:32

Not so much living in a bubble, more like with his head up his arse. He is clearly blissfully unaware, it being all dark brown up there, of the extensive evidence that proves him utterly wrong.

The second point is interesting. There's something in it I reckon.

hatwoman Sun 31-May-09 22:07:37

I haven't read his comments - but, in similar vein to Baroness Kingsmill, I do think that a key hurdle we need to get over is in the home, rather than the work place. once there are as many sahds as sahms we might find ourselves a whole lot closer to equality. once decisions about who looks after the children and the home are divorced from what gender we are we'll be getting somewhere.

skramble Sun 31-May-09 22:11:19

Oh I wish, that will be why I was totally invisible last year, when guy two ranks junior to me was given a temp managers position (two ranks higher than mine) while I had to keep him right for 5 days, basicly telling him what to do as he had never done a project like that ever, I have been doing it for 11 years.

Same at one of my regular projects, I am invisible and a new guy with little experience is now assistant project head, over me.

Happens all the time, I am pidgeonholed

edam Sun 31-May-09 22:46:32

Don't be silly ladies, obviously Sir Stuart Rose knows far more than us feather-headed little housewives about what it's like to be a woman. hmm

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Sun 31-May-09 22:51:00

oh fuck it am I going to have to boycott per una now?

have already learned that their bras are rubbish

edam Sun 31-May-09 22:52:09

I looked on the M&S website but there was no obvious 'email Sir Stu' button. If I can be bothered tomorrow, I might try a little harder.

spokette Mon 01-Jun-09 09:25:52

Thankfully, I have never ever liked M&S so don't shop there.

sfxmum Mon 01-Jun-09 09:31:25

might as well have been entitled 'How to alienate your customer base'

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 01-Jun-09 09:46:35


Yes, well, think he should try and have a look at engineering, on the surface everything is all 'equality' but look a little closely and there are very entrenched attitudes. Women who have moved outside the box of secretary, HR, administation or accounts processing are viewed (imho) with underlyiong suspicion. You have to bloody well prove yourself every day, I am still automatically considered to be 'that young girl' whenever I start a new project and am involved with new people. I have to work twice as hard and be twice as professional as any bloke in the room or I will be considered lacking. There are no female senior managers or directors in my (publicly listed blue chip) company.

I used to work in a smaller company - a SME which employed about 180 people. About 20 of those were women. There were only 3 women who worked there in a professional capacity (in project management, procurement, engineering)- the rest were administration, PA, librarian, canteen. Women were quite seriously advised that they would get heckled when they went on the shop floor. Whenever there was an interdisciplinary meeting it was assumed that I (as the woman) would take the minutes and type them up. I refused and requested that we either take it in turns or a secretary would be present and do it. This did not make me popular. This was in 2005-2006.

The company which I now work for is one of the largest engineering companies in the UK, however when I came on last week and was caught without supplies, I discovered that not one of the tampon vending machines had any supplles in them, as the refilling of the machines had been removed as a cost cotting exercise. There is a shop on site (this place is huge) but they only sold a 48-pack of the mini size (no bloody good on the first day of a period!) - I asked if they had any other options, to be told by the (female) shop assistant that I should be grateful that the shop sold sanitary products at all as 'this place is geared up for men'.

Yeah, that glass ceiling has well and truly disappeared hmm

ShauntheSheep Mon 01-Jun-09 10:46:00

Yeah course its disappeared which is why when I answer the phone 'IS Dept' I get the question 'Are any fo teh lads there as I have a problem with my computer' Cos of course I couldnt possibly help at all!!!

MrsWeasley Mon 01-Jun-09 10:47:48

I read his report and my thoughts were "what a Wa**er" and I dont usually swear. angry

OhBling Mon 01-Jun-09 10:55:13

That is the most offensive article I've read from a senior business figure in years.

"But I know lots of women who've got two or three kids - Nicola Horlick is a good example - there are many girls in here who've got two kids who come to work."

Those would be girls under the age of 18 then who could legitimately be called "girls" as opposed to women in their 20s, 30s and beyond who happen to be female?

And I guess he missed the part that while I would guess M&S is mostly staffed by women, I'd put any money on the fact that senior and middle management are mostly men. We should all do a quick poll and go round our local M&S working out a) how many floor staff are women vs men and then b) find out what the ratio of male/female floor and store managers are.

If we can't email Stuart Rose directly I think we should all start emailing his PR team and the newspapers. I'm gobsmacked.

hatwoman Wed 03-Jun-09 11:09:29

just got round to reading it. what particularly strikes me about it is his stunning ignorance. he clearly just doesn't get it. the man is utterly clueless what equality means and what is STILL needed to get there. which, given his position, is horrendous. you know how prince harry had to go on race awareness course after he used stupid and offensive words to refer to his friend? well this guys needs a gender awareness course. what an ignorant, ill-informed, stupid man.

spokette Wed 03-Jun-09 11:14:08

What depresses me is that he does not even comprehend how patronising, ignorant and alienating his comments are.

hatwoman Wed 03-Jun-09 16:29:42

too true spokette. he seems to divide people into 2 very distinct categories (male and female, or, more accurately, proper people like him, and those others who are a bit weird, have different genitals and don't quite count in the same way). He can only see the world from his perspective as a male/proper person - and clearly doesn't get why that's problematic, deeply patronising, and offensive.

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