READER REPORT:

'There is no glass ceiling'

CHRISTINE DE LEE
Last updated 05:00 08/07/2013
voting booth
CHANGE NEEDED: It seems like forever we have put up with either Labour or National steamrolling their policies over the populace, promising reforms then breaking or reneging on those promises.

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I run my own business. I see women in business every day. There are lots of successful women in all walks of life and unlike Australia, we have even had a successful female prime minister, who was not denigrated because of her gender. In other words, women are in many of the top jobs, at least at one time or another. So why is there this insistence that everything has to be 50-50?

If women want to go into politics, they can. It is a tough world though with very long hours, prolonged periods away from home, and not all women want a job like that. In fact, lots of women don't want a job like that. Particularly for those who have families, politics would be a really tough choice. There are much better alternatives.

The same applies to top boardroom positions. Again, the long hours and periods away from home simply don't appeal to all women. It isn't that women are necessarily less smart, less educated or less successful. Some women - many women - simply don't want to live like that.

Men are often driven by power and influence in a way that women simply are not. For men, the pecking order is important, and getting to the top is a major driver. Women are often not as driven as that. They are often more balanced in their approach to working and personal lives, and sometimes, work simply does not come first. After all - who on their deathbed ever wished they had spent more time at the office?

There is no glass ceiling. Women are as successful as they want to be. Some don't want to be politicians or company directors, because the sacrifices they will have to make are simply too great to contemplate.

For me, there would be nothing worse than a quota system for women MPs. This will devalue the real efforts and successes of women who make it on their own merits. Would you vote a woman into Parliament because you were told you weren't allowed to vote for a man? Where is the democracy in that?


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