More and more women have now access to strategic posts in their enterprise, or are doing a job that was reserved to the men until now. This change hasn’t happened without any consequences. My profession, journalism, isn’t particularly friendly for women. Before, female journalists were an exception. For instance, my newspaper only counted three of them back in the 1980’s, while now, we’re much more. We’re still a minority compared to our male colleagues, but we feel as equal as them.
Journalism is quite a demanding job. We have the chance to work only during the week, not in the week-end. But most of the other newspapers and medias work 7 days a week. And for the hours, generally, we don’t count them, but they approach 50, even 60 hours per week while for most of the other professions, 35 hours a week is the norm. Difficult, in these conditions, to have a normal family life, if you add to them the fact that we travel a lot.
Some of my female colleagues find it hard to have a stable relationship too. With our job, we play the ” far from the heart, far from the eye” game with our partner. As a result, divorces are multiplying in our profession.
This isn’t typical of journalism. M., a 39 year-old PR, works also 60 hours a week, at least. She’s also responsible for multiple charity associations, and have as a result a very busy schedule. She’s still single, because she doesn’t have much time for a man. She did have some serious relationships, though. But they always ended in the same way: her men got fed up with her multiple engagements elsewhere. She’s seriously thinking of a baby right now, But she knows she has to slow down her activities for that.
Dealing with a family when you’re an active mom working late often turns into a problem. Some women choose to stop working to take care of their children, while other choose to hire a nanny. Children can also slow your career when you’re a woman. That’s why some of them start to push their career when their kids are older (take for example the female candidate for the French presidential bid, Segolène Royal) . Some other prefer not to have children (that’s the case of Michèle Alliot-Marie, another French politician, but also many women members of the Spanish government).