Thursday, November 09, 2006

Women and the glass ceiling

So women are failing to smash through the glass ceiling in FTSE boardrooms. Fewer women are reaching these prestigious positions. A quarter of FTSE 100 has no female directors. The number of directorship held by women fell in 2006 after steadily rising over the years. Well, aint that a shame.....

This research published by Cranfield University narked me. As a socialist feminist, should I give a damn about women not reaching the upper echelons of corporate capitalism? Should I support women, like their male counterparts, sticking their greedy capitalist noses in the trough? Nope.

These women negotiate their astronomical salaries and receive big bucks in bonuses. By the way, the average pay in British boardrooms has jumped by 28% compared with just 3% for most of the population. Next year, Brown wants a 3 year freeze on pay settlements to around 2% for low paid public sector workers and many of them are women.

Then consider this, women working full-time earn less than three-quarters of a man's weekly wage, even less when she is working part-time. It is estimated 4.7 million women earn less than £5 an hour (that is 43% of all women employees). And 80% of women working p/t earn below the Council of Europe's decency threshold. Because of this low pay, women are usually unable to build up savings as they earn too little to make NI contributions. Therefore they will be unable to claim contributory benefits such as state pensions or statutory sick pay.

But, hey, the pay gap is widening between the rich and poor. The top 10% earn more that £851 per week while the bottom 10% earn less than £235. Between 2004-05 the distribution of gross weekly pay widened, with 2.1% increase at the bottom decile and a 4.3% increase at the top decile.

I am sick of this glass ceiling which cynically refers to equality. It doesn't. I am also sick of this dog-eat-dog mentality and individualistic nonsense (hey woman, you too can get to the top by treading on the backs of the poor many of them women!).

Majority of women earn less than men and many live below the poverty line. What about equality for them? I really don't give a toss about the lack of boardroom women as they represent a social class I despise.

Oh yeah, talking of people I can't stand, Cherie Booth spoke at the Global Banking Alliance for Women World Summit. She argued: "There is still a long way to go before the barriers to equality are removed".

Hey Cherie, who are talking about, your other 'alf? And are you speaking for ALL women and not the privileged few.... like yourself?