Letter: Glass ceilings

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Kingsley Browne's piece on the biological imperatives ordering men and women would be risible if his analysis did not evoke echoes of other, more sinister theories. At the least it will give comfort to right- wing politicians.

As I understand Professor Browne's argument, men are men and women are women. Hollywood, with its exquisite talent for simplicity, did it years ago - me Tarzan, you Jane.

He ducks the fact that most men do not get to be chief executive officers, and may well not want to. Or that high-flyer women abandon the corporate world simply because they find the whole construction of the corporate workplace mind-bogglingly stupid.

Large numbers of others leave the company early on because they do confront serious, even illegal, glass ceilings, including sexual harassment - hence the vast number of small business start-ups by women.

For centuries women did not reach the highest pinnacles in the workplace or politics because men colonised and designed the workplace and parliaments and fixed the game, replicating themselves and their gender through their cohorts and successors.

To say that nature dictates a life of child-rearing is to ignore deep- seated processes taking place now, possibly the most extraordinary revolution in humankind's existence. In my employers' guide Breaking through Glass Ceilings I call it "shevolution". Shevolution is the mysterious and profound force that can only develop where women and men work together as equals, within a nation's political processes or within corporate and business life, for greater ends than status and the pursuit of cash. May it be the great force of the 21st century.


Chief Executive

Project Parity

London W1