I was quite encouraged to read about the Cultural Leadership Programme and their plans to compile a list of 'women to watch' in the cultural and creative sectors. The Bookseller have reported on this here:
Although I know a majority of women who work in publishing, it does sometimes seem that the positions of power are often held by men (but obviously this isn't always the case). I have no idea why the gender balance is like this. Perhaps it is simply a case of slow progress and in ten-twenty years (or more), the issue won't even seem an 'issue' because it will be more even.
As a woman, I do worry that things such as pregnancy and maternity leave make us more vulnerable in the workplace. With a majority of women, they will have to take leave at some point and in this case, despite the legislation that has been put in place to protect women, is it always the case that they are protected? I've heard several stories from women who have become pregnant who have been made to feel guilty, sometimes forced out of their roles in an underhand way. However, I'm also sure many women have no such problems and they are treated completely fairly. I am merely speculating as I have no idea but there is part of me that worries that women may never have the same success of men due to mere biology.
Whilst this is my fear for womankind, it is obviously important that the women we currently have in the creative and cultural sectors are recognised. Obviously, as this list is suggesting, it is not key to simply promote women for being women - they need to promote the women who are working hard and achieving within these sectors. More than anything, they deserve some recognition. In another sense, it lets the younger generations know that women have a place too and they can achieve high if they work hard and believe in their abilities.
Very positive indeed and I'm glad to see it.