Tag Archives: virginia woolf + feminism

What Would Virginia Think?

1 Oct

In 1999 Skillset unraveled ugly truths behind the misrepresentation of women employed within the creative media industries.


Skillset, the Sector Skills Council For Creative Media, conducted the first ever employment Census of the creative media sector. This was the first picture of employment of women.

The outcome of the Census was the report of widespread under representation of women across the board, low levels of women in senior areas and women losing out on traditional male roles such as sound and lighting.


The repetition of the Census in 2000 showed the unfair misbalance of higher qualified women yet lower levels of income than men. This reminds me of the huge imbalance between male and female wages exposed by Virginia Woolf back in the 1920’s in A Room of Ones Own, but this is the 21st century.
In 2007 Skillset composed a series of interviews relating to the stages of life that drive women out of the industry. The 2008 Census revealed that women had no other option; if they chose to go back to work after maternity leave the general outcome of their return to work was sadly not as they expected:

“I thought I’d be able to go back… and I’d kind of do a nine to five day. And then they weren’t able to keep the job within those hours.” (former freelance production manager)


 Skillset discovered that there were more women graduates in media based jobs, yet these women are losing out on promotions, and are being paid less than lesser qualified men.

Women even claimed that they delayed having a family as they feared they would lose their jobs, and losing touch in such a fast paced industry; an industry where if you don’t like the conditions, there will be hundreds of other people queuing up for your job who will.


Unfortunately media based employers aren’t the only ones guilty of misrepresenting women in the work place. Aside from the dreadfully dull day to day lives of various Notting Hillers (seriously, what was all the fuss?), Channel 4’s new series Seven Days shows Tara, a middle aged writer, struggling to get work and believes it to be because of her age and gender.

Tara says, “I’ve got to get a job and if I don’t get this job I don’t know what to do. I am about to get repossessed. I’ve got two degrees and loads of experience, why have I had 500 rejections?”

“It’s because of your age… and it’s not like you’re going to be going off having babies,” says sister Cassie.


 Sadly, this is just one example of gender and age biased in the work place today.
As a budding journalist on the onset of my career it makes me feel sick to think that all my hard work could go to waste when I decide to have children or reach middle age.

Such issues aren’t flagged up often enough, and feminists continue to be mocked and branded as ‘bra burners’. It seems that society is accepting this, yet I believe it is time for change.