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Interesting, isn’t it, the way that employers protest that any tiny change in the structure they have put in place primarily to benefit themselves and their buddies will inevitably lead to the end of their businesses, the destruction of the economy and the downfall of civilisation. From the abolition of slavery via the banning of child labour, the introduction of safe working practices, the setting of limits on working hours, the introduction of a minimum wage, when such things are suggested employers always shriek that The End Of The World Is Nigh! And yet somehow the world continues and so do the businesses, actually not that much affected at all.

And thus it must be with measures to counteract the systemic discrimination against women which exists in the modern workplace. Women are not a special case. We do not hail from the planet Tharg with a mission to destroy mankind. All we want is to be treated equally. Not better: the same. It seems reasonable to expect that the changes necessary to achieve this will not result in the downfall of entire economies, any more than when business owners were prevented from owning their employees and treating them somewhat worse than animals, or when it was suggested to them that fitting machine guards to prevent machine operators having their hands ripped off on a regular basis might be a nice thing to do.

And yet, Oh! the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth with which any such suggestion is met. Would it really be such a bad thing to pass a law requiring all businesses to have a board consisting of at least one third women? It might even, from a lot of the available evidence, be a good thing. And yet suggest this and it’s as though business owners are being asked to pull down the shutters, call in the bailiffs and throw all of their poor dependent shareholders onto the street.

More tomorrow.