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A brief rant from beneath the glass ceiling

So, I was at lunch the other day when I overheard someone suggesting, as a totally serious notion, that it would be a great idea for large companies to run on-site crèches for employee’s babies, which could be staffed on an ad-hoc voluntary basis by the companies’ female employees.

I cannot decide whether this is more insulting to working women, mothers or childcare professionals.  Will the workplace be full of female politicians, bankers, lawyers and accountants, running from boardroom to nursery with warm milk for the little ones, blackberry in tow? Is the suggestion that once women have had babies they would not want, or be able, to return to full-time work?  Presumably, if you wanted to work in a crèche, you’d just work in one.  Any why is this on a voluntary basis – is childcare not a job worthy of payment in itself?  I know a lot of (male and female) teachers and nursery staff who would disagree.  As one friend put it, there are so many problems with this suggestion that it’s hard to know where to start.

Most of the time I love working in Prague, but sometimes something of a 1980’s attitude rears its ugly head and makes me sigh, scream or giggle depending upon my mood.    I never thought of myself as a bra burning feminist, but sometimes it’s very tempting.  My glass-ceiling smashing headmistress would have a field day out here.  Should I don a power suit, shoulder pads and a stoney face, or should I just chuckle quietly in the corner? 

You will have already seen my thoughts on female empowerment (go sisters).  Now, all of you, please feel free to take the floor and discuss the merits of working as a woman in the CEE.


About CzechingIn

A blog about an English lady living in Prague.


4 thoughts on “A brief rant from beneath the glass ceiling

  1. “on-site crèches”

    Posted by Neil | August 25, 2011, 6:17 pm
  2. Understand your rant completely. Comes from the same mindset of those who expect the woman at a meeting to pour the coffee even if she is the most senior person there. My current feminist rant is about the quantity and quality of ladies’ loos in public places especially theatres. How demeaning is it for women to have to queue forever in the corridor while their male partners nip in and out of the gents quick sticks. And they must be designed by a chap who has never had to take one or more little children into the cubicle with him plus shopping, otherwise they would be a sensible size. This has to be the
    last great bastion of female inequality to overcome in western civilisation. Are you with me sisters!

    Posted by Susan | August 25, 2011, 11:28 pm
    • On a similar note, when I worked in Beijing the ladies’ loos in the office were squat toilets, whilst the men’s were apparently western style. I don’t know enough about Chinese culture to know what this means, if anything, but I found that really annoying, especially in a skirt suit!

      Posted by CzechingIn | August 26, 2011, 9:17 am

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