Judge Jules (not a real judge) tells us what she wants what she really really wants and it’s not a ‘zigazig ha’.

When the Spice Girls debut single ‘Wannabe’ hit our screens in 1996 I am not ashamed to admit I was a big fan. At school I always wanted to play the part of Posh Spice but always seemed to land the glamorous role of Sporty Spice no matter how hard I tried to perfect my pout in the mirror.

What gripped my attention was their message of ‘girl power’, when they popularised the slogan. However, I am astounded that over two decades on and we have made little progress and in my view backward steps on the gender equality front.

In recent years I have noticed an upsurge in women’s business networking groups. There is something deep inside of me that feels such networks are setting women back about 50 years. A modern day Tupperware party? A more sophisticated Ann Summer’s party?

Whilst I am all for women empowering women, why does this have to be to the exclusion of men? Are we not good enough to compete in the male arena? Is it a man’s world or is it a woman’s world? Or is it, as it should be, neither?

One of my role models is Baroness Karren Brady. She has actually taken on a predominantly male environment and owned it. She previously turned around failing Birmingham City F. C. when she became managing director in 1993. She is currently vice chairman of West Ham United, as well as being a wife and mother of two. These are but a few of her achievements. Baroness Brady I salute you.

It seems senseless in this day and age as to why we would do business in exclusively male or female groups. Personally when I conduct my business affairs gender does not ever cross my mind. We are devaluing ourselves through our desire to be exclusive.

It is time that the business world opened their eyes and got with the times. This is not the 1940’s where the men retire to the smoking room to smoke cigars and drink port, whilst the women obediently scuttle off to the drawing room to exchange pleasantries.

Going forward us business women could learn from Baroness Brady’s example, whilst she supports women in business it is not done to the exclusion of others. So going forward I tell you what I want what I really really want – and that is business equality – male or female irrespective.

Juliet Phillips-James of Gomer William Solicitors writes for Llanelli Online

Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Karren_Brady_-Wolverhampton_-14March2008.jpg

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