At a seminar about ‘women in the boardroom’ a couple of years ago, in the Q&A session, a black woman in the audience declared loftily that because she was both black and female, she was disadvantaged by a double-glazed glass ceiling. I laughed out loud, she glared at me, I carried on laughing. I may have theatrically wiped away a tear or two with a handkerchief. It’s a happy memory.
I was reminded of the incident by an article sent to me by Martin. The writer of the piece is Tim Capper, who must have been desperate for work to write a piece for Chef’s World about fewer than 1% of Michelin-starred chefs being women.
Extract #1, from a section, ‘Does the cooking world have a glass ceiling?’:
This extreme lack of top-rated female chefs might cause someone to believe there is more to this than meets the eye. After all, only one percent of Michelin starred chefs are female. Are women prevented from opening restaurants? [My emphasis]
Does Michelin practice a certain level of discrimination against women? Why are women not getting adequate respect in an industry where they could seemingly excel? [Possibly because they could seemingly excel, but manifestly don’t?]
A huge percentage of women in the world learn to cook, much higher than the percentage of men who learn this skill. Therefore, it is not for any lack of women performing this activity that they are not getting recognised. [Tim, you’re killing me…]
One of the common theories regarding why more women are not chefs is the stressful lifestyle that the profession requires. The work is hard and takes a large amount of stamina that many women do not have. [I’m guessing you didn’t pass these two sentences by Harriet Harman MP for approval before publication?]
It is also very difficult for women to raise a family while holding down a job with such demanding hours as that of a chef. Being a mother and a chef is a task that is next to impossible, which would explain why many women opt for careers that allow them more free time to be with their children. [No shit, Sherlock!]