I've spent most of my working life in a male dominated environment. My focus has been on getting on with the job and doing whatever I've done to the best of my ability. However, I have always been aware that others would observe my career progression as a female engineer with interest, and maybe see me as something of a role model.
I recently heard a good story from someone about becoming a dad. After his child was delivered the man was handed the tiny baby, as the midwife did so she quickly checked the sex, and proudly said 'here's your big strong boy.' The father wondered if the midwife had delivered a girl whether she would have said 'here's your big strong girl.' Right from the first seconds of being born we are judged and compartmentalized.
Like time, business waits for no man or woman, it will continue to exist regardless, but if we want it to thrive, grow, prosper and promote a 'feel good factor' for our country's citizens, as well as increasing our nation's fortunes then it's your job to create the environment that allows business leaders to do so.
The publisher Elsevier sent out a letter with a picture of a bunch of scientists, all of whom are white men. Pictures like that reinforce the stereotypes that keep young women away from science. But as if that wasn't enough, a spokesman from Elsevier went onto Twitter and made a cringeworthy mess of it all.
Having spent most of my formative years getting riled up over the fact that my ovaries reduce my pay packet in comparison to my male peers, it's hard to get turned on watching something which is grounded in the idea that women exist for the sexual gratification of men. However, as much as I'd like to claim that I selflessly stopped watching porn because I'm a committed feminist, that's not strictly true.
The collapse of Page 3 would be the catalyst for feminist campaigns and would be a major step in the abolishment of male privilege. It would massively strengthen the fourth wave revolution and see more women in parliament, at the heads of boardroom tables and at the forefront of political and economic committees, rather than on the tired and outdated pages of tabloid papers.
Last week, I attended my sixth Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland. I attended many of the sessions in and out of the forum and there was no shortage of women's faces. But appearances can be deceptive. Many women attending did so, not as delegates but as staffers or spouses of the delegates. Sadly this year among the 2,500 delegates, only 16% were female, down from 17% in 2013 - its highest ever. Yet, despite this, there was a real feeling that it was time to get serious about ensuring that 50% of the world's population get their fair share of the world's resources.
Apparently 60% of men would consider being a stay at home dad. I find that men who were raised by strong career women have more respect for equality than those who weren't. I have friends who have shared six months each of maternity/paternity leave and friends who will argue that it should be a mother's responsibility. In a progressive society, nothing beats equality.