This is the re-telling of an experience I had when attending the candidate information sessions, which struck a chord on facebook.
Last night I went to a candidate information sessions for new councillors and I now totally understand why there aren't many women councillors and there are even fewer Independent women councillors.
Whilst the meeting was very well intentioned and gave a good overview of everything involved in being a councillor (which is important) we were told repeatedly to consider whether our family and relationships would handle the work load and whether we would be able to balance this with current employment. We were also given a long list of vague skills we need (financial literacy, communication, project mgmt etc).
It's well known that women are less likely to put their hand up for roles in which they don't meet ALL the selection criteria whereas men are likely to apply for roles where they only meet some of the criteria. Immediately women who think they don't possess these vague skills are at a disadvantage. Women are also more likely to be the primary caregiver and complete more chores around the house compared to their male spouses, and so it's likely this consideration of family relationships and home life weighs heavier on female candidates.
I'm not gonna lie it all freaked me out a bit. BUT then I thought hold on!?!?! I'm just as qualified as these men, I have the same level of education, the same passion and enthusiasm and I'm campaigning just as hard, i'm just second guessing myself! So I'm mustering the confidence of a mediocre white guy and going for it, so that I can tell my daughters or your daughters that they can go for it too!