Stereotypes shouldn’t mean women are undervalued ...

Aasma Day
Aasma Day
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‘They’re stereo-types, there must be more to life ...”

Britpop band Blur certainly knew what they were singing as society may have come a long way, but people – particularly women – still face daily stereotypes.

Bestselling children’s author Maz Evans was left flummoxed when she was typing away on her laptop at the airport when a man approached her and told her he was so impressed by her speedy typing, she could have a job if she ever wanted to be his secretary.

Maz posted about the encounter on Twitter outlining how she replied if he ever wanted to be her secretary, he had already failed the interview.

Some people got the wrong end of the stick and slated the writer for looking down on those who are secretaries and PAs so she clarified her point saying: “Just to be abundantly clear, I’m not dissing the career – I was a PA for years.

“It was the assumption that as a woman, I should be his secretary. He would never have said it to a man.”

Although the author says she and the man parted on good terms, it shows gender stereotypes that still exist and persist.

You still someone talking about going to see their doctor or consultant only to hear someone ask: “What did he say?” and be perplexed when they realise the medic in question is female.

While there are still industries male dominated, women have proved they can take on pretty much any career, profession or sport they want – and they do a mighty fine job of it too.

But eyebrows are still wrongly raised or there is an element of surprise when it comes to women holding certain jobs such as firefighters or mechanics.And it works the other way too with jobs like nursing.

One of my colleagues recounted how his elderly dad frequently makes him cringe by saying things like: “I got on a bus in Preston the other day and you’ll never guess: there was a WOMAN driving it!”

It’s not just a generational thing as sexism is alive and kicking today.

The rumbling row over the gender pay gap shows how despite The Equality Act 2010 stating that men and women doing equal work must receive equal pay, the reality is still very different in many places.

It’s all too easy for people to “blame” this on the fact many women have breaks in their careers to have babies or often work part-time.

But don’t men decide to become parents too? And that’s another stereotype as too many people presume it will be the woman taking maternity leave despite the growing numbers of men taking extended paternity leave to look after their baby.

In an ideal world, life should be equal and fair without having to fight for it.

Beauty brand L’Oreal’s legendary slogan: “Because You’re Worth It” was born because women needed reminding of this fact.

I know many strong, independent and capable women who feel they are not properly valued either in their relationship or their chosen career.

If you feel you’re not valued in either, ask for things to change or if you’re unhappy, walk away.

Because you really are worth it.