Today is international women's day, and across social media the call to arms has gone out for a day without women. My workplace certainly wouldn't support us striking; it's a small business and the impact of the female contingent not turning up to the office or working remotely would be huge.
Which is the goddamn point.
I work in Operations, which basically means my job is right in the centre of each project organising everyone else. I'm responsible for orders placed at the very beginning, for the building control regulations through to the deep clean at the end. And every piece of furniture in between, down to the last light bulb. It's my job to ensure everyone has the right information to make the decisions they need to, whether it's my client or my design team. It's also my job to keep pressure on every one of our suppliers to make sure they deliver on time. And after that it's my job to ensure that the actual installation runs on time, smoothly and to budget. It's also my job to trouble shoot any issues, put out any fires (metaphorically speaking of course, calm down Health and Safety...) and basically juggle a million and one things at once. And that's not even thinking about invoicing and credit card expenses... And all of that is only half my job. Done multiple times over numerous projects running simultaneously.
And I'm not alone.
Our Operations team is 100% female. As is our Accounts department. If the women in my office decided to walk out, it's not unfair to speculate that the company could not run.
And how prevalent is the above situation? How many companies would crumble without women's input? And how many people appreciate this?
Last year the Guardian ran an article that highlighted the fact that the UK has one of the worst records on gender parity within the workplace; we came 11th out of 18, trailing behind the US, France, Spain and Sweden. This wasn't just in pay comparison, but also looking at women at board level and the gap between male and female employment. You can read the whole thing here.
So what does this mean? That in 2017 we're still fighting for gender equality? That the States has just elected a President who is outwardly attacking women's rights? That I still know women who don't think we even have a problem?
It probably means I should be on strike today.