Women’s News: Karren Brady: ‘Childcare is biggest barrier to women in workplace’


The West Ham vice-chairman also warned that 50/50 equality between men and women in business will never happen in her lifetime, as she addressed a Women in the Workplace summit at Downing Street.

“Childcare is the biggest barrier for women in the workplace because if you don’t have high quality affordable childcare, you are not going to leave your children to go to work.

“Most of us won’t leave our children unless we go into a job that respects us, pays us well and give us the opportunity that we want, and if you put a barrier of quality childcare into that, it becomes even more difficult,” she said.

The Apprentice star told the summit, hosted by chancellor George Osborne, that “more needs to be done, particularly for people who run small businesses,” to encourage more women into work and help them advance into senior management roles.

“Getting schools to open early, so they can drop their children off, getting them to stay a bit later so they can pick them up,” are crucial steps, she said.

Official figures show just 19 per cent of FTSE 100 board-level executives are women, and on average, women are paid around 15 per cent less than men doing the same jobs.

Typically, women in their 20s earn more than men, with women in their 40s experiencing the worst pay gap.

Mr Osborne, who agreed there was “still a long way to go” to achieve equality, said “simple things” would help create a cultural shift, rather than government intervention.

He revealed that his 10 year-old daughter Liberty was furious with him about the lack of women on banknotes, before it was decided that Jane Austen would appear on the £10 note.

Chancellor George Osborne with his two children Luke and Liberty Photo: Allan Bentley

“My 10-year-old berated me for a couple of months about why the Bank of England was not going to put a woman on the banknotes.

“I had a difficult conversation with her, trying to explain why it wasn’t really my choice.

“But thankfully Mark Carney [the governor of the Bank of England] has now put a woman on the banknote in the form of Jane Austen, and I think those things matter.

“They might be small things, but they send powerful symbols to my 10 year-old daughter and many, many others.”

Mr Osborne also spoke of Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg – “not everyone’s cup of tea” – whose book encourages women to “lean in” to get a seat at the business table, or risk being passed over for promotion.

There is a “silent, societal discrimination” over the way women can be treated at work and in their personal lives, Mr Osborne said.

This can lead to a lack of confidence; the number of men asking for a pay rise is double that of women, a recent YouGov study showed.

The Bank of England’s ‘concept image’ for the new £10 note. Photo: Bank of England

Ms Brady, one of Britain’s most powerful businesswomen, said: “We have to take some personal responsibility of the messages we give to women in the workplace, that we give to our daughters.

“I’ve spent my whole career trying to find that balance between my home life and my work life, and I’ve spent my whole life going [between] board meeting, nativity play, board meeting, sports day.

“Most career women begin to understand you have your two personalities, your home personality and your work personality – the absolute trick is not to allow one of those to drain the life out of the other.”

But, she warned: “I wonder how we’re going to change things, because I don’t think in my generation we’ll get to that 50 per cent mark, as much as we might try.”

Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary and women’s minister, urged businesses to sign a government pledge to tackle the gender pay gap.

“Everyone accepts the economic case and we have reached a point where there can be no more excuses,” she said. “It is simply not right that women’s skills are being overlooked.”

Read More:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/10434161/Karren-Brady-Childcare-is-biggest-barrier-to-women-in-workplace.html

Women’s Health: Female Hysteria: 7 Crazy Things People Used To Believe About The Ladies’ Disease


The Huffington Post  |  By 

Deeply disheartening though it may be, the practice of labeling women “crazy” is alive and well today, and its roots are deep. As in, it’s-been-happening-for-thousands-of-years-and-has-been-pretty-well-tolerated-by-most-of-society deep.

Hysteria was the first mental disorder attributed to women (and only women) — a catch-all for symptoms including, but by no means limited to: nervousness, hallucinations, emotional outbursts and various urges of the sexual variety (more on that below).

To make clear how far we’ve come in our understanding of women’s mental health, and how far we have yet to go, here’s a little trip down memory lane — a tour of just seven of the weirdest things so-called “experts” used to believe about female hysteria. (You know, in addition to it being an actual thing that existed.)

1. Hysteria was caused by wandering wombs.


Ah, those pesky wombs — never staying still, always stirring up problems. According to a comprehensive history of female hysteria compiled by researchers from the University of Cagliari in Italy, Egyptian texts dating as far back as 1900 BC argued that hysterical disorders were caused by women’s wombs moving throughout their bodies. The ancient Greeks believed it, too. In the 5th century BC, Hippocrates (i.e., the founder of western medicine, in what may not go down as his greatest achievement) first coined the term “hysteria” — from “hystera,” or uterus — and also attributed its cause to abnormal movements of the womb in a woman’s body.

2. And experts believed the condition was incredibly common.

crowd of women

Thomas Sydenham was an influential British physician who lived from the mid- to late-1600s, and clearly thought that crazy ladies were wandering around everywhere. According to Mother Jones, Sydenham once declared that female hysteria — which he attributed to “irregular motions of the animal spirits,” was the second most common malady of the time, just behind fevers.

3. Sexy thoughts were a symptom.

woman daydreaming

Fainting, outbursts, nervousness and irritability weren’t the only hallmarks of female hysteria; certain core aspects of female sexuality, desire and sexual frustration were also on the list. As Mother Jones reports, “excessive vaginal lubrication” and “erotic fantasy” were also both considered symptoms of the disease. The horror!

4. It could be cured by pelvic massage …

woman orgasm

At various points in history, the massaging of a woman’s pelvis (i.e., her genitals) was embraced by many a health expert as the cure for female hysteria, resulting in “hysterical paroxysm,” or orgasm. Though the practice dates back to the renaissance, and even before, it became a money-maker for the medical establishment during the Victorian era. “By the early 19th century, physician-assisted paroxysm was firmly entrenched in Europe and the U.S. and proved a financial godsend for many doctors,” Psychology Today explains.

5. … or vibrators …


When the vibrator emerged in the late 19th century, explains technology historian Rachel Maines [technology historian] in her book “The Technology of Orgasm” explains, it was intended as an “electromechanical medical instrument” to provide more reliable and efficient physical therapy to women believed to be suffering from hysteria. And it was a welcome advance. Doctors “sought every opportunity to substitute other devices for their fingers,” Maines writes.

6. … or a good hosing.


According to Maines’ investigations, at various points, high-pressure showers or hoses were also used to treat hysteria (as was clitoridectomiesit should be said). One French physician, writing in the mid 1800s, explained that at first this sort of high-powered douching was unpleasant, but then, “the reaction of the organism to the cold, which causes the skin to flush, and the reestablishment of equilibrium all create for many persons so agreeable a sensation that it is necessary to take precautions.” Women weren’t supposed to indulge in this hydro-therapy for more than four to five minutes … or else. (Like so much of the woefully inaccurate nonsense surrounding female hysteria, or else what isn’t entirely clear.)

7. And the established medical community held onto these beliefs for a very long time.

woman psychologist

It’s easy to laugh-off female hysteria as preposterous and antiquated pseudo-science, but the fact is, the American Psychiatric Association didn’t drop the term until the early 1950s. And though it had taken on a very different meaning from its early roots, “hysterical neurosis” didn’t disappear from the DSM — often referred to as the bible of modern psychiatry — until 1980. Sadly, we’re still feeling the impact of this highly-entrenched medical diagnosis today. The “crazy” and “hysterical” labels are hard ones for women to completely shake.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/female-hysteria_n_4298060.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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