If you’re not angry, then you’re not paying attention. For most of my life I’ve not being paying attention, and now I’m angry.
This week UK firms published figures showing the pay gap between male and female employees. It came as no surprise that women lost out big time, but somehow seeing it displayed in a nice colour-coded graph made it harder to ignore.
It always seemed easier to tell myself I didn’t really care about things, or couldn’t change them anyway so there was no point in trying. The best defence mechanism in the world is to simply not even try and fight. Isn’t it? Turns out the answer is no. You see we’re all in the fight anyway. We were born into it. If you’re one of the lucky few you win anyway, but we all have a choice to make; and if we all make the right one then maybe we stand a chance.
I think the main reason for ignoring the issue is simply that it’s just too depressing to acknowledge it. Women have been banging their head against the glass ceiling for as long as there’s been civilised society.
We’re taught to keep quiet and just be thankful for what we have. Feminism has become a dirty word. Women are called ‘difficult’ if they strive for more. Strive for what is fair. People with a vested interest in the weak remaining weak can often shout louder than the rest of us. They have power. But now we’re taking that back. Or more accurately, we’re trying to get it for the first time.
On the one hand it can seem like nothing’s changed. We’re still massively disadvantaged simply because we’re female. In pretty much every career you could imagine, women will be paid less for doing the exact same job. Just look at the good old BBC. They can do the job just as well as their male colleagues, they may even do it better, but either way they’ll still be paid less for their troubles. The world of cycling is no exception, and unfortunately it provides one of the best illustrations of this inequality.
But on the other hand, it also provides one of the best environments for change. We’re in the fortunate position of working in an industry which is a hotbed of progressive people. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that women’s cycling itself is progressive yet, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction. It’s a slower process than any of us would want, but it feels like the scales are finally starting to tip.
The conversation has been started, and now we need to make sure it carries on…..
…..Read full blog on Peloton Brief: http://www.thepelotonbrief.com/molly-weaver-2/