“Yes”, says Jonathan Munro, the BBC’s Head of Newsgathering. “Very capable” women within the BBC did not feel able to put themselves forward for the most prominent positions.
Mr Munro is confused. Has he not noticed that there are many capable women heading major corporations — the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, for instance? But has he also not noticed that, in recent years, more top women are . . . well simply retiring in their 50s — something that men never do. A recent CEO of the London Stock Exchange is an example. Has he also not noticed that IVF clinics in London are now flooded with career women who’ve decided that they’d like to have children after all.
In other words, excessive Women’s Lib, which has pushed too many women into career aspirations over the past two or three decades, is now wearing off at long last. In other words, most normal women, however brilliant they may be in specific skills, don’t like the world of politics. And, as we all know, the BBC is as much a nest of vipers as is the House of Commons to which women have been going for almost a hundred years — yet still largely avoiding despite being half the population.
Women are interested in the rank ordering of men they may be interested in choosing for partners or not, but they’re not interested in taking part themselves — with all the deviousness, back-stabbing and sheer nastiness that that usually involves.
Women are built for having children and some of the saddest women I have known all through my life are those who, for some medical reason of other — or their husbands’ — cannot have children. Now I’m old myself I’m hearing of old women who are dreadfully lonely because they gave up children for their careers. On the other hand, there is nothing quite like being a grand-parent to make one glad to have had children.