Valleys Mam, among others, has commented on yesterday's news that there are now less women in top positions across almost half of all industries in Britain than there were in 2006.
This is universally being seen as a step backwards for women's equality, but I'd like to put a different slant on it.
If women were in more top jobs in 2006, it strikes me that there haven't been any great changes in legislation or culture since then that would lead to a decline in opportunities open to them. Indeed, I feel that my options are as wide and varied as those of a man with my background and skills. Personally though, I don't have any great desire to be top of the tree in the sphere of business or politics, right now, so I'm not really working towards that goal. If anything, I am feeling a lot of pressure and encouragement to go through the process of becoming a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, and the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that the amount of work, time away from home and extra responsibility that would come with being a selected PPC is not what I want right now.
I find myself thinking of a piece by another Welsh blogger, and old acquaintance of mine, Al Iguana, a few weeks ago. He was musing on the subject of why fewer women than men have prominent blogs, and decided that women simply have a less single-minded approach to these things than men do. Women's blogs generally tend to be personal affairs, which cover all topics and events that seem important to them from day to day, and allow them to stay in touch with other friends on the internet. Indeed, my own other blog is just this sort of animal. And it reflects my attitude to life: it isn't all about work, or all about politics, or all about family, or hobbies. It is about finding a balance between all these things I care about that is right for me. I find that I have this holistic view in common with many other women, especially at my age and in my circumstances.
Don't get me wrong here, I am all for gung-ho women who want to take the business world or the military world or the politics world in their teeth and rise to the very top. I also see that prejudices still exist despite decades of work by the women's liberation movement, and with that in mind I am also all for the encouragement and empowerment of those gung-ho women I'm thinking of. But what I'm not sure of is whether equality of opportunity will ever lead to parity of representation for women, because I believe that in general there will always be fewer women with the right kind of single-minded approaches and ambitions than there are men. Equality of opportunity, yes please. But crying out that because fewer women are in top jobs that there's a "reinforced concrete ceiling"? I don't know whether that's helpful.
Now, I'm off to take my daughter to see a friend, and tomorrow will be having lunch with my mum. Got to pack in as much of the rest of my life as possible before it is eaten by Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth for a few days next week!