High Heels in the White House? Whatever next...
It's been an interesting week for women in positions of power. Firstly, Silvio Berlusconi angered his European neighbours (and a few others besides), by claiming that the Spanish Cabinet was "too pink", suggesting that the number of women would make it difficult to lead.
On the other side of the pond, Hillary Clinton declared 'the tide is turning', after winning the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday. This announcement was brought to me via a news item on a commercial radio station, which chirperly announced, "The sound of high heels could soon be heard around the Oval Office."
OK, so I wasn't expecting in-depth political analysis from this particular broadcaster, but these images of woman appear so out-dated and superficial, and beg the question: how far have we really moved on in the past 100 years?
Birmingham has its share of exceptionally talented women across all sectors, but do they achieve the external recognition that they deserve, and do we have enough women in leading roles within our City?
Last year, Birmingham Future and The Birmingham Post published the first Power 50 list, designed to highlight "the people in and around Birmingham who have the most influence on the future shape and direction of the city." Out of 50 names, only 4 were female. At the time, this caused some degree of reflection, but the fact that more women did not even feature on the radar is concerning. If this is truly illustrative of our influence in the city, then it's a slightly depressing state of affairs.
The Spanish Prime Minister, JosÃÂ© Luis RodrÃÂguez Zapatero, who declares himself a feminist, passed a law shortly after coming into power which made it compulsory for electoral lists and company boards to have at least 40% representation from women. I'm not suggesting that this is the right way forward, as I'm a firm believer that people should succeed on merit, but how can we start to make Birmingham more "pink"?