the pile

Zoe, however, is childless and single, and she feels the victim of an unspoken inequality that lurks beneath the surface of many industries.

Although she works long hours – usually much longer than her female colleagues with children – this year, she found herself at the bottom of the pile when it came to taking a summer holiday, with the working mums getting first dibs.

When her co-workers’ children are ill, they are free to work from home, yet this option is never available to her. ‘I have asked but been told a firm “no”, with the excuse, “You’re an employee not a consultant,”’ she says.

‘I’d love to meet somebody and have children myself one day, but increasingly I wonder how I’ll ever do that when I’m always at work. I’m missing out on life.

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