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.