We spent a glorious day sailing on the Southport Broadwater with some dear friends on their amazing boat last Saturday – just sitting around, drinking, eating and talking and enjoying the winter sunshine.
These friends are in their fities, and she was telling me about her early employment experiences in Melbourne. Di was employed by a large insurance company just before their engagement, and one of the conditions of employment was that you could not continue to work for the company when you got married.
(Shock, horror, gasp!)
Now, these days of course we cannot believe that – but back then, it was apparently standard in the insurance industry – in Australia anyway. You resigned and left a couple of weeks before your wedding!
In Di’s case, a senior manager came out to visit her at home a couple of days before the wedding, saying they would like to offer her her job back – after the wedding. It had taken a full meeting of the Board of Directors, and a special resolution to go against years of tradition – but she was the first married woman on their staff when she returned following her honeymoon. Other insurance companies slowly followed suit in the ensuing years.
How far have we come since the 1960′s??? The workplace for women has changed at the speed of light, when you reflect back on it. We have so many more opportunities – doors opening all around us where once were only brick walls.
Whenever I get frustrated that things arent changing quickly enough, or where parochial, patriarchal attitudes still persist – I need to remind myself that since I joined the workforce things have changed so much… and most of that change has been extremely positive – especially for women.
What do you think?