Letter: Women's work

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The Independent Culture
Sir: What's got in to David Aaronovitch ("Modern women may decide their place is at home with the children", 11 August)? The Foreign Office's proposals for helping more women to become ambassadors sound eminently sensible to me.

Twenty years ago at school it was suggested to me that I try for the diplomatic service. I turned it down because, as attractive as the job was, I felt it meant opting for the single life. I, like my male peers, wanted it all - career, partner and family. I found a career that at least held out some hope of that. I am now in a job-share which has been a godsend while my children are small.

What women want is not permission to stay at home with their children but, like many men, a balance between work and home. We need more reasonable working practices which accommodate mothers and fathers and thus go some way to placing a value on children and child-rearing which is sorely lacking at present in the workplace. The solution is as simple, and complex, as that.

Dr HEATHER INGMAN

Beverley, East Yorkshire

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