Catherine Hakim is a sociologist at the London School of Economics, and she believes women have the freedom to make lifestyle choices about their work and private lives, but that ‘tougher’ equality laws will not open any more doors for female workers.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph (Monday 20 Dec 2010) she says :
Women have won their battle for workplace equality and the gender pay gap is merely a result of mothers choosing to raise a family rather than focus on their career, a leading academic has claimed.
Her article “Gender pay gap ‘down to women’s lifestyle choices’, (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/8212662/Gender-pay-gap-down-to-womens-lifestyle-choices.html) won’t come as pleasant reading for radical feminists. it might however strike a chord with those women chasing that elusive feminist rainbow of “having it all.”
She also warns that women who combine top executive roles with a family rarely have more than one child – and struggle to spend much time with them.
Her Daily Telegraph article continues:-
In a 12,000-word report to be published next month, Dr Hakim described new government policies to promote equality as “pointless” and based on “feminist myths”.
She said the pay gap has fallen to just 10% on the Government’s preferred measure and that it is a “waste of time” fretting about such a small difference. Dr Hakim claimed in a study called Erotic Capital earlier this year that the most successful people in modern society are those who are the most attractive in appearance and manner.
She believes women are now able to make an active choice about whether to have a family or enter a senior position at work. She says:
“In Britain half of all women in senior positions are child free and a lot more of them have nominal families with a single child and they subcontract out the work of caring for them to other women.”
In the report – called Feminist Myths and Magic Medicine – she says: “Equal opportunities policies have succeeded in giving equal access for women to the labour market.
“People are confusing equal opportunities with equal outcomes, and there is little popular support for the kind of social engineering being demanded by feminists and legislators.”
A government review by the Labour peer Lord Davies is considering whether to recommend that company boards should have to comprise at least 40% woman.
Dr Hakim argued in her report that there has been a “stalled revolution” because women have settled into jobs they actually want. She also attacked the idea that men and women have the same career ambitions and values and that women prefer to be financially independent. And she disagreed with the notion that women have a different, more co-operative style of management than men.
She goes on to argue that there are no short cuts to success at the top, which requires long hours and almost total commitment to a career, regardless of your sex. She told The Daily Telegraph:
“The long term trend is for more career-centered women who make it to board level. Levels are low at the moment because it is only in the last two or three decades that women have had proper equal opportunities. The next big issue for the work place is racism.”
[ Could it be that the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s oringinally intended to benefit Afro-Americans but which was hi-jacked by Women’s Rights advocates might return to its origins on both sides of the Atlantic ? – RW ]
See also “Pay Differentials – ‘gender rights’ move on”, May 2009 https://motoristmatters.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/9-3/
Ref: “A poll cited in a recent issue of Psychology Today claims that 40% of today’s women would prefer a return to the gender roles of the nineteen-fifties.”