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Editor’s Comment: Plastic – fantastic?

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Annie Ward

Sledgehammer tactics are being used by career-hungry women eager to break-through the glass ceiling; one in four would go as far as to pump their lips with Collagen and Botox their way to a furrow free brow if it meant promotion.

By Annie Hayes, HRZone Editor



Gone are the days, when women were content to gently tap at the elusive glass ceiling above them separating their dreams from reality. For today it seems that women are no longer happy taking the back-seat.

In a climate of ‘please pass the sledgehammer’, a quarter of women in business have admitted to seriously have considered cosmetic surgery to boost their careers.

Twenty-six per cent would contemplate having a face lift, 27% plastic surgery and 28% Botox treatments if they thought it would help soothe the way to the dizzying heights of career success.

The findings by the Aziz Corporation, show that there is also near universal sanction for less invasive measures including 94% of women who say they would dye grey hair, 92% who’d forfeit temptations by going on a diet and 91% who’d bear the dentist’s chair for a more acceptable pair of nashers.

Professor Khalid Aziz, Chairman of The Aziz Corporation, commented: “While celebrities such as Leslie Ash may have had some bad experiences with treatments, it doesn’t appear to have discouraged today’s business executives from considering this kind of therapy in order to advance their careers.

“Some of the remedies may be extreme, but there is clearly a growing recognition of how important appearance is to success in business today.”

And perhaps a nip and tuck is called for if latest statistics are anything to go by. Figures collated by Mother & Baby and Yours magazines suggest that women with newborn children only get three and half hours sleep a night, the equivalent of rolling an indelible set of non-washable wrinkles on your forehead that say the words, “I’m just too tired to have a career.”

Doctor

Sleep-deprivation it would seem is causing 77% of those to fail to work effectively.

But it would seem that even where a line-free brow is firmly in place assisted by eight hours of good kip, fed and watered by a liberal smattering of anything organic and Astanga Yoga it isn’t enough to remove age-old barriers of discrimination.

Last month the Times reported, how women Chief Executives of local authorities are more likely than men to be appointed to struggling councils. But accordingly if they make a go of these fire fighting roles, the women are then forced aside to make way for a man who steps into claim all the glory.

And according to the article, part of the problem as reported in April’s Police Review is that there are a lack of role models for female staff. Gillian Parker, Chief Constable of Bedford Police is only the fourth female Chief Constable in England and Wales.

Furthermore and equal opportunities legislation aside it would seem that Swedish-style maternity leave extensions aren’t helping matters.

By April 2007, paid maternity leave will be payable for a period of nine months, up from the current six months and by the end of the next Parliament the government hopes to take it to a full term of a year.

Last month, members expressed their concerns about the plans.

Small business owner Nick Forsyth said:

“As a small business owner (15 employees), whether it is legal or not, it is essential for us as to carefully consider the consequences of taking on a woman of child-bearing age. We are in the IT industry and it takes up to six months to get someone fully trained for a role. We therefore simply do not have the flexibility to have someone go off on maternity leave for six or nine months or longer.

“The result of this is that women of that age get discriminated against in all jobs where long term training is required. It may not be legal but from a small business perspective it is simply essential and a matter of business survival.”

So it would seem that equality is in the brink of danger, suffering from over-zealous bureaucrats dishing out pro-family policies like they’re going out fashion but failing to consider the consequences for the little people and public-sector authorities that are happy to put women at the top but allow the men to claim all the glory.

And women’s answer – well slap on some lippy and book yourself in for an appointment with the cosmetic surgeon’s knife and ride the wave to Botox promotion.

Editor’s Comment invites you to talk back – share your views on the plight of women in the workplace by posting your comments in the box below.

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Annie Hayes

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