“My kids come first,” she would snarl at anyone who suggested that this behaviour was in any way unreasonable. “And always will,” she would add with a menacing look upon her face, challenging someone, anyone to dare to be critical. What about her students? The people whom she was contracted to teach as part of her job, and the people who were depending upon her to carry out her duties in a professional manner? Presumably her work came second to her kids.
So last night when Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkelman failed to turn up for work - if you can call it work – I couldn’t help but marvel at this wonderfully lop-sided world of ours. Winkleman – a seemingly permanent fixture on our television sets thanks to her mother’s journalistic connections – was apparently at home looking after a sick child. Ok so let’s be thankful for small mercies. I’ve not enjoyed the show so much for quite some time. The absence of one of the BBC’s most indulged pets barely registered. But that’s beside the point.
The point is that in the real world outside the gilded corridors of the BBC there are plenty of employers who have been brought to task for not promoting women to top positions within their companies. Oh yes there’s always been plenty of criticism of such companies who have shied away from investing resources and training for women who were highly likely to quit their jobs one day in preference of family. It didn’t seem to occur to the radicals and politically correct brigade that many businesses (BBC excepted – it’s many things, but it sure as hell ain’t a business) simply can’t afford to invest in staff, who a little while down the line, may choose to swap pinstripes for potties.
Winkleman’s a lucky woman. She can have it both ways. Thank god though she doesn't do a real job with real responsibilities. Thank god she’s not a brain or heart surgeon, because if she was, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be a patient of hers especially if little junior got a nosebleed…