I always imagined I'd love being a stay-at-home-mum. Although I've always enjoyed working, and I'm pretty good at it, I've never been what you'd describe as a career girl. I assumed once I became a mum I would find my forte in life and never look back. I figured I would eventually go back to work part time but it would be because we needed the money, not because I actually wanted to return.
There is work to be done to break the low pay trajectory of women who never properly get themselves into a situation to be able to work full time. This is about free pre-school childcare, and the ability to retrain while at the same time having an income and sorting out a family: issues which our benefits system has traditionally found it hard to grapple with.
The job was quite easy really but my fellow colleagues were anything but fun... The manager was covered head to toe in jewelry; I came to the conclusion that her long-suffering husband liked her so much he put a ring on it, or rather four rings on every finger, she was like a metal detectors wet dream.
It's incredibly difficult to get a part-time job, especially if you are professional, qualified and reasonably well-paid. Too many companies aren't open to the part-time option or to job-shares. Too many women are trapped in the job they have. There is nowhere else to go. It's worse if you have had a baby without the security of a job to go back to. It took me years to get a part-time position, and I know I am not alone. In fact, I have been banging on about this, and the waste of a whole tranche of intelligent, well qualified women, for years.