8 Mar, 2021 @ 20:00
2 mins read

‘Don’t worry about it sweetheart’ From unfair wages to creepy jokes here’s the reality for women in the workplace in 2021

woman at work

A WOMAN’S place is in the home. And the boardroom. In fact, it is anywhere she likes.

But as another old adage goes, a woman’s work is never done. Often we have to fight twice as hard to get the pay we deserve and speak twice as loud to have our voices heard in the office. 

You’d be hard pressed to find a woman, even in 2021, who hasn’t been called ‘darling’, ‘sweetheart’ or ‘beautiful’ in the workplace. 

And that’s getting off lightly. Complaining about these kinds of ‘compliments’ often isn’t worth your breath, since it’ll likely be brushed off by your male bosses and colleagues as a bit of banter. A working woman has to pick her battles, and unfortunately a daily scuffle with balding dinosaurs over terms of endearment, or worse endowment, has to be sidelined for more pressing matters such as pay, fair treatment and basic respect. 

It is both exhausting and astonishing that in 2021 women still have to fight for the bare minimum. Why is it that bosses are happy to dish out a hefty workload and a barrel of responsibilities alongside the ‘jokes’ – but asking for fair compensation for the work completed quickly wipes the smile off their face?

Take equal pay. It is fairly straightforward in principle:  creating equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. But somehow some of the biggest brains in business still struggle to grasp the concept. 

As we face another economic downturn in the wake of coronavirus it is clearer than ever that our old systems are failing us at every turn. 

It is time to challenge the status quo and do away with outdated modes of working – and women need to be helping to usher in the new dawn right alongside the men. 

woman at work

Women are just as productive and determined as their male counterparts, and businesses need to recognise this.  And not just because of quotas but to build better businesses and a better future for everyone. 

Speaking of the future, one that continues to pay women less than men or discriminates against anyone way is a discredit to us all. 

Businesses should of course be making gender equality and equal pay a key foundation of success. It is the right thing to do. 

It is a shame that last year the Spanish Government felt they had no choice but to intervene to ensure that women in the country are given the same pay as men. 

Now businesses have to share what they are doing, because they can’t be trusted to do the right thing. 

Just look at women in healthcare. New research found that Spain was one of the best places to be a female health professional in Europe, with the country ranking number eight on the list behind the likes of the UK and France. 

The study found the opportunities offered to women in Spain – the same doctors and nurses who have spent over a year battling behind face masks and PPE to save people from coronavirus – were among the best in Europe. 

A cause for celebration? Hardly. Female Spanish doctors and nurses earning an average of €10,000 euros less than their make counterparts. 

And for those who brandish the fight for equal or fair pay as propaganda from ‘male hating feminists’, remember we’re sticking it to the man, not men. 

 Our brilliance is in our diversity. Recognise it. Celebrate it. Reward it. And reward it equally. That’s just good business sense. 

Kirsty Mckenzie

Kirsty is a journalist who has reported on news, entertainment, food and drink, travel and features since 2015. She lives in the south of Spain.
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