A while back, I met a wonderful lady. I met her at a lunch which was given by a mutual friend. This lady, I will call he Kate, after introductions she apologised that she didn’t know why she was invited to this lunch as she had nothing in common with anyone there. She said “I am not a university graduate and only finished secondary school so I have nothing to contribute but I would love to hear about your work”. I was stunned.
Eventually I think I closed my mouth and gradually found out that Kate was a craft artist, mother, home provider, parent carer, volunteer, voracious reader and still sane. How she managed to do all she was doing, was beyond me. Back in the day the buzz word in companies was time and motion management, now it is called work study. Well Kate had a PhD in it without the certificate to prove it.
How could this lady be so demeaned by society even though she was a primary carer, educator, financial manager, caterer, cook, maintenance manager, craft master and artist oh and a volunteer? When did the criteria for being a worthwhile person start with the premise that one needed to be a graduate?
After many years of getting to know Kate, I asked her one day why she had apologised about her education qualifications when we met. She said the number of women who had dismissed her as insignificant because she wasn’t working or hadn’t a degree had led her to a deflecting strategy and allowed her to get through these social events.
You may think that this is a scenario from the 70’s or maybe 80’s but unfortunately not. It happened within the last 5 years. There may be inequality between men and women as I know there is but if women cannot respect and support each other there is no way that equality between men and women will ever happen.