We are very proud in our organisation of our commitment to supporting women in the workplace, and the recognition that we have achieved from the Athena Swan accreditation scheme (http://www.athenaswan.org.uk/content/athena-swan). I have spent some time over the past couple of days discussing how we will build on previous achievements to develop this work further in the Faculty, and it reminded me of a great poem that I had read several years ago, which eloquently summarises the social norms and expectations that so often act as a handicap to women in the workplace
Where is it written?
Where is it written that husbands get twenty five pound lunches and invitations to Europe for think conferences while
Wives get Campbell’s black bean soup and a trip to the fire station with the year 3s
Where is it written that husbands get to meet beautiful lady lawyers and beautiful lady professors of Ancient History and beautiful sculptresses and heiresses and poetesses while
Wives get to meet the till operator with acne at Safeways and
Where is it written that husbands get a nap and the Super Bowl on Sundays while
Wives get to help colour in the colouring book and
Where is it written that husbands get ego gratification, emotional support and hot tea in bed for ten days when they have the sniffles while
Wives get to give it to them?
And if a wife should finally decide
Let him take the shoes to the cobbler’s and the children to the doctor’s and the dog to the vet while she takes up something like brain surgery or transcendental meditation
Where is it written
That she always has to feel guilty?
From I have no gun but I can spit (1980) Methuen