Comment: International Women’s Day – any reason to celebrate?

Tomorrow is the 97th International Women’s Day – and I am not celebrating.

 

Why? What’s the point? I could celebrate women spending one hour less on housework a week. But men have more to celebrate. They are still not doing any more housework than they were five years ago.

 

I could cheer for the increase in women’s wages – except they are still paid less than men.

 

I could jump for joy at the growing number of female entrepreneurs running fast growth businesses – except the numbers don’t budge, year after year.

 

The sad truth is that one of the reasons so little is changing for women in business is women themselves.

 

Nothing is going to change until women become more assertive, competitive, hard nosed and apply their considerable emotional intelligence to outsmarting men who are never going to jump off the power pedal stool and say: Hey! Didn’t see you there. Hop up. It’s your turn at the top.”

 

What’s wrong with women? Lots.

 

Women do not demand pay rises. Why? It’s crazy. It’s a skills shortage and in many cases they would be successful.

 

Women find it too hard to have children and run a business. Why? They could if they were strategic, learnt to use the latest time-saving technology, tackle and not ignore discrimination, and develop a hard skin.

 

Women in the workplace are not as aggressive as men about promotions. Why? In many cases they are more capable.

 

And women run out of time. Why? There is a whole industry that specialises in outsourcing household chores.

 

What would happen if women around Australia got up, went in right now to their boss’s office and demanded a promotion?

 

What would happen if they sat down and wrote out a career plan and then set out steps and a time frame in which to achieve their goals?

 

What would happen if they found a great mentor and decided to build a big business?

What would happen if they aim to reach the very top and then make a difference?

What would happen if they didn’t do the housework, stuck a roster on the fridge and went on strike until the man about the house lifted more than just a finger?

 

I’d celebrate. That’s what.

 

Visit Women’s Agenda for more news and advice for professional women.

 

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