Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Future Female Leaders?

We often hear about the glass ceiling affecting women in the work place. Some say it's been smashed, others proclaim it still exists.

And then we hear about alleged institutional racism - a hindrance to ethnics in the workplace trying to achieve their due recognition. 

Being a BLACK FEMALE, none of this makes me excited about entering the world of work. In fact, I will do just about anything to put off the inevitable and that includes travelling for 5 years. (Currently on the cards, but not if my mum has anything to do with it). Being President of my uni's ACS in my second year opened me up to a lot of inspirational avenues. There are now a million organisations of black empowerment, a gazillion awards to be given each year and even more people behind those awards and organisations profiting from the desire of MNCs to diversify by handpicking the country's best ethnic students. So that covers, one thing - the black part of me. 

The problem is that in all these awards and recognition (which I do not at all slate), the majority of the elites are male. Given the UK (and definitely London) gang problem, there has been more discourse on providing youths with male role models. Problem-children are often said to come from a single-mother home and I guess for the media and the elites, they've had too much female connection that doesn't seem to be working. That being said, what about the women? I think more than anything young people want to see that against the odds, whatever those odds may be and for whatever reason (be it race or gender) one has succeeded. Women in general are doing fairly well in comparison to maybe when I was born and clearly ethnic minorities are doing much better too. 143 of the 650 members of parliament are women, 27 of the 650 MPs are BME but only 9 of 650 MPs are BME Women. 

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was probably my first female role model after the women in my family. But where are the opportunities for a replication of her success here in Britain. It's funny how we're all searching for the first British Obama - David Lammy this! Chuka Umunna that! - when this country has proudly paraded a female as its leader for 11 of its toughest years post-WW2. When we think first black prime minister why aren't females included in the leadership race?

Until things change, I'm going to live in a secluded hut somewhere in the heart of Africa away from GPS, the internet and half-hearted social change.

No comments:

Post a Comment