Letter: Glass ceilings
Thursday 15 October 1998
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.
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