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My gender equality timeline

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Head shot of Eleanor Binks
Eleanor Binks

Autumn 2014

The Talent Action Plan: Removing the Barriers to Success was published on Friday 5 September 2014. The following Monday I walked into the Department for Work and Pensions to begin my Civil Service career as an HR Fast Streamer.

One of the first things I did as a member of the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Team (CSD&I) was read through the TAP and the Hay Group’s Women in Whitehall report.

I was a little confused. Not because I was sitting at my very own desk in a government department, part of a prestigious graduate programme, and ridiculously nervous. It was because the quotes and stats in the Hay Group report didn’t tally with what my friends and I felt when we graduated from university to enter the ‘real’ world.  

Quotes such as, “I’m a very direct person, I will have to kind of hold myself back and I think that’s because of the culture in the civil service,” scared me.

More importantly, the quotes that apply more widely clashed with my impression of the Civil Service. Remarks such as, “I would not want to join the culture. It's really insidious and I have witnessed too many women fail. Women I have admired, women who have succeeded previously. All torn apart ‐  all gone...” I thought: “But wait! The Civil Service is supposed to be a nice place to work.”

I (and the majority of my female friends) left university thinking most workplace gender equality issues had been overcome. OK, the women undergraduate engineers were outnumbered by men, but they were so fantastic we didn’t need to worry about them. Work/life balance? Further study? Ruling the world and power dressing? Channelling Taylor Swift? Babies? We thought we could have it all. At least, we told ourselves, by the time we reached what used to be the key decision points for previous generations of women (baby or boardroom; play group or Parliament), things would have been sorted out and there’d be no decisions to make.

Spring 2016

Fast-forward to today and I’m the outgoing co-Chair of the Cross-Government Women’s Network, and about to leave my role as gender lead in the CSD&I Team. I’m pleased to say my panic on first reading the Women in Whitehall report was misplaced. Some of you who’ve been in the world of work longer may think me naively optimistic. However, I’ve spent 19 months living and breathing all things gender equality in the Civil Service ‐ it’s going to be OK, but we have more to do.

So have my friends and family, especially if they’ve made the mistake of asking, “so what do you actually do?”

I’ve told them about the Civil Service commitment to being more representative of the society we serve. And reminded them, frequently, that women are not a minority group. We account for half or more of civil servants at 11 out of 17 departments (ranging from 68% in DWP to 36% in MoD). But it’s not OK that representation of women falls with seniority, with almost 60% of the most junior staff (AA/AO) being women, compared to 39.4% of the Senior Civil Service.

It’s also not right that, apparently, the reality only dawns on many men when they become fathers and realise their sons will have an easier ride than their daughters. As a workforce of nearly 400,000 people, we need men on board with gender equality before they become dads. And it makes business sense for the Civil Service to be more inclusive and representative of society ‐ being the right thing to do isn’t enough for everyone.

7 March 2016 - International Women’s Day Eve

So what do I actually do?

As co-chair of the Cross-Government Women’s Network, I support women and gender networks across government, along with co-lead Keela Shackell-Smith ‐ the fairy godmother of employee networks, as I call her.

Being both at the centre and in a network has helped me enormously in supporting Melanie Dawes in her role as Civil Service Gender Champion.

I was petrified of working so closely with a Permanent Secretary. But a year on, the International Women’s Day planning team (me and colleagues from HMRC, DWP and DCLG) have been looking forward to celebrating at our IWD event in Parliament. Melanie will be updating us on what has happened in the world of gender over the past year.

Our goals have been clear:

  • strengthen women’s networks
  • improve the support provided before, during and after parental leave
  • improve access to mentoring
  • address the cultural issues of the Civil Service

This work goes on, but I’ve seen how committed to improving the culture and make-up of the Civil Service our senior leaders are. And they’re not as scary as I first thought!  

Just like Melanie, colleagues in Civil Service Employee Policy, my own team (working to implement the commitments in the refreshed Talent Action Plan) and those I’ve met through network activity (from grade AO to DG) are pushing for change.

Nineteen months working on gender equality could have left me thinking that the Civil Service is a bear pit (see page 21 of the Women in Whitehall Report) but it hasn’t. Things are getting better and we must maintain the momentum.

You can show your commitment to gender parity by making a pledge on the International Women's Day website.

Follow the Cross-Government Women's Network on Twitter: @CGWomensNetwork

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  1. Comment by Mr MOD posted on

    Personally I have only seen a positive push for women in the MOD. To the point many of my male counterparts feel undervalued. I am all for equality but it feels to me that to balance it up the males in the lower grades are not given an equal chance to advance. There is also a the handling of staff, for 15 years I have been working in the MOD, the approach to handling female staff is far softer than towards men from male and female hierarchy. This not equality, why are men expected to be given an earful when the softer method of management is as equally affective. We can not have equality until we treat staff equally.

  2. Comment by Hilary Quinn posted on

    I enjoyed your article and certain aspects really resonated with me! We have certainly come a long way since I was first employed as an EO in the MOD in the late 60s when gender discrimination was rife and was just a fact of life. The progress we've made can only be applauded, but I recognise that we still have a long way to go before we get real equality of opportunity for all.
    However I have to take issue with 1 point - I'm the mother of 2 sons and the mother in law of 2 women, they all have extremely demanding careers and have all worked extremely had to progress in their chosen fields. As such I'm not sure I recognise your comment "that reality only dawns on many men when they become fathers and realise their sons will have an easier ride than their daughters" In this day and age it strikes me that nobody, irrespective of gender, gets an easy ride in any aspect of their life!

  3. Comment by Steve posted on


    I was similarly incredibly nervous starting my first job - as a graduate engineer in industry in 1972. Starting work is a major life transition, and it is right to be on your guard... the human mind adopts a fight or flight approach, which in practice means nerves!

    I have worked with many women engineers and found them better frankly than men. Women leave little to chance. Men are more likely to take the approach "It will be alright on the night". Women get fully prepared. I have not been aware of discrimination against women, apart maybe from a patronising attitude by some men towards women. It is not intentional, rather a result of a man's nature and conditioning.

    Women work harder than men in my experience. Men are fundamentally lazy! This inate laziness can be seen in our ape cousins. A recent account in the press described some walkers in Africa coming into a clearing in the Jungle. A family of gorrillas were there. The males were all asleep. The females were busy.

    Men and women are fundamentally different. This difference is based on deep-seated instinctive subconscious attitudes and thoughts that have developed over many millions of years. We are basically stuck with our subconscous minds - they cannot be changed easily, if at all. The subconscious is very ignorant!! [Tell someone "Do not think about a red car!" A red car leaps into their mind. The subconscious can't even deal with a the concept of "not"!!] There are aspects of both males and female personalities that are "built in" and probably very difficult, if not impossible, to change.

    My excellent wife was and still is better at looking after children than me. Try as I may, I will never be quite as good. Men are subconsciuosly programmed to provide shelter and bring home food. Women have an incredible ability to hold families together. The sexes have complimentary skills. We can never be the same. And wouldn't it be a tragedy if we were?

    Men and women should be equally rewarded for the same work [am shocked to hear this is still an issue - thought it was sorted out decades ago]. They should be treated the same way at work and have the same opportunities.

    But don't let's try to make them the same. Our society already forces peope into behaviours that are contra-instinctive. Depression results. Western society already has a massive problem with depression, which is forecast to become the major disease in the West in the next couple of decades. Let's be careful.

    Best wishes,


  4. Comment by Kate Dixon posted on

    Ellie - great to read this proud blog about the work you have been involved in. There are many champions for change; and it is good to keep reminding us of both what has been achieved and where there is more to do. The Women in Whitehall report was well received as it wrote down a lot of the things that had been said less formally or powerfully. There has been progress in gender diversity issues; and as others have said, there is much that can now be learnt from for other groups including BME and disability.

  5. Comment by Bry L posted on

    Eleanor's statements focussed on gender equality and inclusivity and not the discrimination elements, though many of the following comments refer to discrimination. Equality is something to aspire to, and discrimination does occur but it is not ubiquitous, nor always gender biased.

    However, as a civil servant of 27 years standing who in that time became a single parent and had to reduce hours to care for my children, I can say that it did impact my career progression, I had to turn down opportunities, I worked fewer hours, I was not always recognised for my efforts. There is no doubt that time taken to balance children with career can reduce your ability to progress and earn a higher salary. You may not get there or it may be delayed, and this will be seen in the statistics. I don't consider this evidence of gender inequality, I am a man and I was treated like a woman who makes those same choices. Are we discriminated against for having children? No more than someone who may suffer serious illness and may have to take considerable time off would be constrained by their absences and limits. Now there are more options, e.g. shared parental leave, for men to take the lead role in childcare which is to be appluaded, though clearly pregnancy is not a burden they can carry. But it will be many years before these recent changes impact the longer term statistics quoted on career earnings and highest career level achieved. The phrase " We thought we could have it all" is perhaps the unattainable dream, for choices, whether entirely of our own violition or enforced in part by others may impose limits. Discrimination is about prevention or a lack of opportunity (perhaps the choices forced on us), but some of the factors are about choices we make ourselves. There is a danger that in trying to overturn discrimination by positive actions a different form of discrimination may be imposed. The aim should be for inclusivity and equality for the diverse range of people who work in the civili service, and to remember that it will take time for the measures to indicate the change.

  6. Comment by Fran Elliott posted on

    The Civil Service has changed hugely in the last two decades. When I had my first child in 1992, I was told by my employer the Central Office of Information that I could not come back to work part-time. It was either full-time or nothing. To their shock and horror, I therefore returned full-time after only 3 months on maternity leave. They had given my role to a contractor in the meantime and kept him on after I returned, farming me off to a silly 'non job'. After two months of this, I contacted the then Government Communications Network (GCN) to say my career was stuck and could they find me an opening. It took them six months but eventually they got me a level transfer job as a Press Officer at then National Heritage (now DCMS). A few years later I passed a G7 board and was offered Chief Press Office for DTI. But, with a five year old and no female mentors that I could see, I would have been the first female with a young child in such a role. My confidence beat me and I turned it down, moving out into the private sector. We have to "see it to be it " - there were not enough women in senior roles then and still are not now. Until there are, there will not be the cultural behaviours we need as norm for genuine equality in the work place. Back then I knew the support mechanisms that I would need to hold that job down and be a mum were not in place. The good news is that they are more in place now and it should be easier for women to achieve senior positions. So why are we stalling? Because of male stereotyping of female behaviours, as described by Sheryl Sandberg in her fabulour best-seller 'Lean In'.

  7. Comment by R posted on

    Responding to a published table showing pay gaps between men and women at different civil service grades, a couple of my male colleagues were complaining yesterday that we're even having to hear about pay parity - 'pay is based on grade, not gender, and therefore there is no pay gap; the data on the figures has to fictitious. It's white males who are marginalised now.'

    Whilst I agree that for a long time, pay for new entrants has been based on grade (rather than gender), there is a pay gap in my department, as a whole. Historically, women were paid less and once pay progression was taken away, there wasn't anything to address the difference in pay. A lot of women didn't reach max. Whilst there are measures in place today that seek to address gender equality, what many people don't realise is that historical issues still hold certain groups back. It's not just pay - taking women as an example - with historical oppression in terms of jobs and pay, women need the confidence and inspiration to succeed in male dominated workplaces. There are still psychological, social and cultural issues to overcome. Introducing equality laws doesn't just fix the problem.

    It's often difficult to see other people's difficulties, especially if you feel someone is getting special treatment. We need to start seeing these as issues that affect future generations as what we do to address inequality today will really only be felt in years to come.

  8. Comment by Charles posted on

    I am that 60 year old dad with two daughters one at University and one working.

    It is absolutely clear to me that the world of work has fundamentally changed beyond recognition in my mum's and my lifetimes.

    My mum went to university and was unable to graduate because the university she went to, did not offer degrees to women. She went on to teach and had to give up her job when she got married.

    My wife had to leave the WRAF to get married.

    My kids on the other hand can and do expect to hold their own against any man. They do and will take a 'female approach' to life, They have greater emotional sensitivities than any bloke, I have worked with, has been allowed. However that plays into a deeper understanding of the motives and relationships at work.

    And yes, under 30 and elder daughter is paid better than me.

    So there may be some way to go, but please, ladies of all ages, please recognise how far you have come already and stand proud of that. The 'glass ceiling' will actually melt away as you take the reins of power.

    To the individual it is little solace, but this is how it stands for the national community: It may take another 20 years to properly disappear, but heck, to get cultural equality in little more than a century is motoring.

  9. Comment by JSW posted on

    I may not be the fault of today's straight white men, but it is the fault of those who came before them. As long as there is huge disparity in opportunity and pay for certain groups, I am proud to live in a country where we dare to try and address this. When we are all treated equally we can stop grouping people and all become humans.

  10. Comment by Richard Storey posted on

    If you're after more relevant role models than a pop singer, that's perhaps more pertenant to a large corporate organisation, what about Alison Saunders, the DPP, to measure against, or say, Theresa May.

  11. Comment by Frank posted on

    If men account for only 32% of staff within DWP, does that mean they are treated as a minority group?

  12. Comment by Miss L posted on

    Thank you for the interesting article Eleanor,

    As a young woman working within the Civil Service for 5 years now it is refreshing to see a positive change in attitudes surrounding the gender equality situation. I have personally been subjected to numerous disparaging comments throughout the years related to how I would be unable to progress through my career due to being female including the insistence that I stay at a lower grade for over 10 years until I would be considered for promotion. I had not experienced this attitude previously during my time in private industry. This negativity from my male counterparts only served to inspire me to work harder to achieve my career aspirations. Looking back, three years on, I now hold a position above my male counterparts and line managers who were so desperate to hold me back and have done this through hard work and determination which was awarded purely on merit. It is not right that females should have to deal with this discrimination in this organisation. However, I have come to the conclusion that it is the personality and level of small mindedness that determines how an individual acts regardless of gender and I have experienced a great deal of support and mentorship from male colleagues in recent years. Keep up the communications and discussions surrounding the issue it is essential that this issue continues to be highlighted.


  13. Comment by Emily Miles posted on

    Thanks for this blog. I found the women's network in the Cabinet Office to be excellent - really glad you're doing more to nurture the networks.

  14. Comment by Alan posted on

    Angus, the statistic that the average woman will earn earn over £300K less than their male colleagues over the course of their career should be taken in one hand with the career breaks the average woman takes to look after children which you mention (which is an attitude that is changing in that there are more stay at home fathers these days but it is still not the norm) and that the average woman will work 7% less hours than the average male each year. On questions of gender pay equality when you look beyond the headlines and see the reasons in most cases there is no inequality and a male making the same choices as a female, working the same hours and having the same career break will earn the same over the course of their career.

  15. Comment by R posted on

    So what is DWP doing about the under-representation of men in the Dept? I'd assume that, at the very least, any man wanting to join DWP would be able to apply for the Positive Action Pathway?

  16. Comment by Monty posted on

    This sort of thing is irritating.
    Women in the Civil Service are not victims of oppression by the patriarchy. They get paid the same as the men of the same grade and in many areas dominate the Civil Service. e.g 68% of DWP are female....that's representative of society? And they get promotion enhancing opportunities from which males are excluded on grounds of sex and race. And across many departments they have parity with the shrinking pool of men in the SCS. If you were to look at the stats I suspect that you would find that it is the white males who are underrepresented across much of the Civil Service. The truth is there are some advantages in being a man and some advantages in being a woman. Perhaps women should start looking at men as work colleagues with many of the same problems as they have instead of the enemy.

    • Replies to Monty>

      Comment by S posted on

      You hit the nail on the head inadvertently there. Women may be 68% of DWP, but DWP is one of the lower paying civil service departments. Yes, within each department, women and men at the same point on the pay scale for the grade receive the same amount...but the pay gap arises partly because certain departments are traditionally more female and recruit more women, and others are more traditionally male and recruit more men. Those that are more male dominated, are also better paid. From looking at job adverts recently, the starting salary for a HEO can vary by up to 12k!

      (That's to say nothing about there being proportionally fewer women in the higher grades and more in the lower grades; the tipping point in favour of men in my department comes at HEO level).

  17. Comment by Andrew Dainty posted on

    I read a recent report on Pay across the UK and to my surprise women on average earn more than men upto their mid 30s when pay for men starts to exceeds that of women. Also there needs to be equal terms and conditions for everyone not just pay. e.g. A few years ago a friend of mine from outwith the Civil Service died shortly after giving birth due to cancer. Her partner was not allowed to take paid time off for more than 2 weeks to care for their baby as maternity leave is only permitted for women and paternity leave is only for two weeks. We therefore need maternity rights to be equal for everyone to allow parents to choose who takes time off work to care for a baby. This would allow women to choose to return to work sooner if they wished to do so and their partner to care for their baby. This would be an advantage to the family where women earned more than their partner especially as statutory maternity pay is less than most salaries.

    I also agree with the comments above that young people should be educated more about the world of work whilst still in education. Not only about equality but also their expectations of wages for jobs available in the economy. Many young people leaving education expect much higher wages than those offered by employers. This was true nearly 24 years ago when I left university during the ressession of the early 1990s. The University Professors were suggesting we would be earning £20,000+ for a 40 hour week job with a Business Degree when the reality was I was earning less than £3 per hour working 80 hours a week within the Hospitality industry.

    Since then the minimum wage has been introduced but the wage for young people is still very low. A minimum living wage for everyone regardless of age really needs to be considered.

    • Replies to Andrew Dainty>

      Comment by Caroline posted on

      My heart goes out to your friend whose wife died of cancer shortly after giving birth and that he was not allowed re-adjustment time.

      There was grieving for his wife/joy of the birth of a child - mixed emotions. Registering a birth and a death at the same time, arranging the funeral/christening.

      I think a case should have been made for special leave due to exceptional circumstances. Two weeks just wasn't appropriate to get his head around every circumstance.

  18. Comment by Chris Goddard posted on

    Things are getting better for women but the issues affecting me now are also beginning to impact male entrants to the Civil Service. The issue is beginning to be one of equality between new recruits and old hands, which tends to be between women and men because of historical discrimination. I have been a civil servant for 23 years and I have had my fair share of gender based discrimination. Until all line managers (men and women) receive training in identifying and dealing with conscious and sub-conscious bias, both positive and negative, we will not achieve equality. But it is more complicated than that. There is the current government edict about limiting pay that is having a massive and ongoing effect in achieving pay parity. Here is an example: in the Office of Rail and Road we are trying to implement a career family progression element for pay awards. The board is aware of "historical anomalies" whereby many individuals remain on salaries far below their peers because the current system has removed time based pay progression. At a recent meeting about the career families plan, it was made very clear that the board will not put a timescale on removing these "historical anomalies". These anomalies impact most severely on recent recruits and part-time workers - both of which tend to be women, but it will also impact on men entering the Civil Service. As people enter the Civil Service, they need to know that they will have the same opportunities to reach the maximum of their band as their colleagues. At the moment, in the ORR, this is not likely to happen. I will remain financially disadvantaged for the foreseeable future, whilst being expected to produce work of the same quality as my peers. This is incredibly demotivating as well as manifestly unfair. I am all in favour of ensuring that policies and procedures do not discriminate against women, but if we are really going for equality, we need to make sure that policies and procedures do not discriminate - period.

  19. Comment by DM posted on

    Try being a white single dad working for the civil service, then you'll see true discrimination in action!

    • Replies to DM>

      Comment by Mr C posted on

      try being a married working dad in the Civil Service!

  20. Comment by PJ posted on

    Thank you for a somewhat positive outlook for Gender equality, if only all Equality and Diversity blogs,and groups concentrate on a positive outlook rather than the usual fare of blaming hetro sexual white males of a certain age.
    Hearts and Minds are not won by pointing fingers and apportioning blame!

  21. Comment by Lex posted on

    Eleanor's article was very interesting and as a man it would be easy to view Paul's comment that "men and women are different- what’s wrong with that?" and agree. But there is more involved than that. Our differences can obviously cause much aggravation on both sides of the gender gap but any differences we have can and should be used to complement each other. We can work well together outside the work place why not inside the work place. I have happily worked with both men and women and each as an individual has brought something different to the table and both can be equally beneficial or detrimental, the thing to do is focus on and encourage the positive aspects of each person’s skills and talents. So perhaps rather than looking at “men” and “women” in the work place we should all just be “people” in the work place, that way there is no gender and then perhaps we can all then be considered equal.

  22. Comment by cj posted on

    There are lots of women and so called minority group only ,short lists for jobs ,certainly within a certain political party in this country, what has happened to;the right person for the job argument, i feel ashamed to live in this country the way we class people by gender, race or otherwise.We are all human ,there are no distinctions, it is not the fault of straight men.

    • Replies to cj>

      Comment by jan posted on

      Yes I agree. there is all sorts of discrimination in this country. I still can't understand why every job you apply for asks for details of gender, age, religiion, sexual orientation and disability WHY are these questions still being asked on job applications. Until this stops there will always be discrimination.

      • Replies to jan>

        Comment by S posted on

        Quite the opposite is true. The diversity information sheet is removed and is not seen by the recruiting manager, and has no bearing on the person getting the job or not. The information is anonymised and used by a very small number of people in HR departments, at a high level statistical level (no one is interested in your own personal responses) to identify problem patterns and thus strategies to overcome discrimination - an example may be, if there are very few LGBT people coming forward for applications in a certain department, because of perception that it may not be a gay friendly place to work, to rectify that by putting job adverts in the gay press. Similarly, if there are too few disabled candidates, doing more to appeal to them or to make sure they know that reasonable adjustments can be made in the recruitment process.

  23. Comment by Julie Anderson posted on

    I've been a Civil Servant for 35 years: you need to go out to the 'coal-face' working women in the CS and ask them: why they remain in the CS?; are they ambitious?; what they want from their working life/work roles?; what could be put in place to help those with ambitions (and those who don't)?; and wherein those depts where women are in the majority of the roles, what men genuinely feel about their female counterparts: ability-wise, emotionally, and all the aspects of working with anyone over time? I think this would give you a better starting point of the realities of women AND men working in the Civil Service.

  24. Comment by Hannah posted on

    I really enjoyed reading this Eleanor. Thankyou! Great start to the day. I'm one of 2 women within a team of 11 and as the last one to join, that was quite daunting. I work in quite a male dominated industry and I hope to progress as far as I can without having to encounter any discrimination. The work you do is inspiring and motivating. Thankyou 🙂

  25. Comment by David Green posted on

    No mention of other pay gaps such as disability or BME. Until it is understood the root cause of all these pay gaps is the same (competency framework and interview assessment), progress will never be made.

    • Replies to David Green>

      Comment by Ivan posted on

      "No mention of other pay gaps such as disability or BME. Until it is understood the root cause of all these pay gaps is the same (competency framework and interview assessment), progress will never be made."

      How do you know that the root cause is the same in each case? That is just an assertion with no evidence to back it up.

  26. Comment by Paul posted on

    Men and women are different. Whats wrong with that ?

  27. Comment by Mr C posted on

    Nice read! However when men get the same time off for maternity leave (instead of 2 weeks) then we will be equal.

    We also need Networking for men in the civil service as it seems there's nothing for us.

    • Replies to Mr C>

      Comment by S posted on

      Shared parental leave became law last year. Men no longer only get 2 weeks off.

      • Replies to S>

        Comment by Mr C posted on

        I'm currently trying to sort out shared parental leave but HR in the civil don't know anything about it!

    • Replies to Mr C>

      Comment by Claire posted on

      The reason for women having longer for Maternity leave is generally because they are recovering from childbirth. There cannot be equality in this area for obvious reasons.

      • Replies to Claire>

        Comment by Mr C posted on

        Employers (both Public and private sector) have to get out of this 1970's viewpoint that only women are effected after childbirth . I had to take time off to help my wife after her C section but employers aren't sympathetic to fathers.

  28. Comment by Angus Gordon posted on

    I’m glad that you have spent time actively seeking to make a change for good; I was however concerned that, on leaving university, you (and the majority of your female friends) spoke of equality as an absolute. Perhaps there's more of a need to educate young people of the benefits of equality prior to entering the workplace so that prejudices are curtailed. It's reported this month that women will earn over £300K less than their male colleagues over the course of their career, even with several bouts of possible maternity leave, that’s still alludes to inequality in the workplace. #Girlpower

  29. Comment by Jean-Francois posted on

    It is true that we should all be aware of gender equality before becoming parents. But parenthood rams home the point that children are still considered by significant sections of society to be primarily a woman's responsibility, whether she likes it or not. If we do not keep up our efforts, sons will indeed have an easier ride than daughters.

    For example, I work on a military base. There is a "babysitting circle", whereby parents can babysit each other's children when other couples are going out. That circle has an express rule that it's the woman who will do the babysitting, unless it's expressly arranged otherwise. I suppose it could be worse: men could be banned from doing it at all. But the rule still shows that babysitting by the woman is considered normal, while babysitting by the man is not.

    • Replies to Jean-Francois>

      Comment by Baz posted on

      Not Living or working on a Military Base, I can't comment from any kind of experience, but speaking as a "Mere Male" 🙂 I would assume this aimed more at peace of mind for the parents, as much as dividing the task purely on Gender lines. It's a horrible thing to say, and I'm certainly not generalising in any way, but are you sure you could enjoy a night out and relax knowing thsat your child was being looked after by a man? It's unfortunate, and harsh on some of the people who aren't allowed, who I've no doubt could do as good a job as anyone else, but sadly, it's a sympton of the paranoid times we're living in. Even in Child Development, male employees are still very much a minority (how many do you actually see working in nurseries for example)?

      • Replies to Baz>

        Comment by Jean-Francois posted on

        Baz, I really can't see why you can't enjoy a good night out knowing your child is being looked after by a man. The vast majority of men are not abusers - and some women are. Of course, if an individual family decides not to entrust their child to a man, then nothing can be done about it: it's their child and their home. But that doesn't mean their decision is right, or that they should be encouraged take it.

    • Replies to Jean-Francois>

      Comment by jan posted on

      Yes I agree entirely with this, child care has always been left to the woman although I think it is starting to change now but too slowly. Also we still have the problem of low pay in female dominated sectors like, caring, child care, administration and secretarial etc etc where there is less oportunity to compare with men. I also think that a bigger issue is the pay gap between staff and management, top executives are paid way too much and this has been proven by the banking crisis. Top pay needs to be curtailed and normal working people paid a decent wage.