The battle for sexual equality is over and the gender pay gap is down to women making a choice between raising a family and climbing the career ladder, a leading academic has claimed.
Catherine Hakim, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, said women have the freedom to make lifestyle choices about their work and private lives, and that tougher equality laws will not open any more doors for female workers.
She warns that women who combine top executive roles with a family only have one child with whom they spend little time.
In a 12,000 word report, Dr Hakim described new government policies to promote equality are “pointless” and based on “feminist myths”.
She says the pay gap has fallen to just 10 per cent on the Government’s preferred median measure (the mean works out at 16 per cent) and that it is a “waste of time” fretting about such a small difference.
Dr Hakim claimed in a study called Erotic Capital earlier this year that the most successful people in today’s increasingly image-conscious society are those who are the most attractive in appearance and manner.
She believes women are now making an active choice between having a family and entering senior position.
“In Britain half of all women in senior positions are child free and a lot more of them have nominal families with a single child and they subcontract out the work of caring for them to other women.”
In the report called Feminist Myths and Magic Medicine, she says: “Equal opportunities policies
Insert body text here...
have succeeded in giving equal access for women to the labour market.
“People are confusing equal opportunities with equal outcomes, and there is little popular support for the kind of social engineering being demanded by feminists and legislators.”
A government review by the Labour peer Lord Davies is considering whether to recommend that company boards should have to comprise at least 40 per cent women.
Dr Hakim argues in her report that there has been a “stalled revolution” because women have settled into jobs they actually want.
She also attacks the idea that men and women have the same career ambitions and values and that women prefer to be financially independent. And she disagrees with the notion that women have a different, more co-operative style of management than men.
She goes on to argue that there are no short cuts to success at the top, which requires long hours and almost total commitment to a career, regardless of your sex.
She told The Daily Telegraph: “The long term trend is for more career-centered women who make it to board level. Levels are low at the moment because it is only in the last two or three decades that women have had proper equal opportunities. The next big issue for the work place is racism.”
by Myra Butterworth