It seems to me that workplaces still only give mothers or men the trust to work truly flexibly. There's this idea that if you are a woman and childless, you have no excuse and, therefore, should dedicate your life to your work.
Now, don't get it twisted; I think mothers deserve and need flexible working conditions, but so do childless women, and I'd always stand up and fight for both. You need to leave early to pick up your kid, fabulous! But if I need to go early for a personal matter, I expect the same flexibility.
Watch: Five women on why they decided not to have kids. Post continues after video.
I want to clarify that I don't resent mothers needing extra flexibility. I actually think workplaces could still be doing more for mothers. Anything they need to do their job well should be given to them.
I don't begrudge mothers for leaving early or starting late. As far as I'm concerned, workplaces work best when we give people freedom. But I think it's unfair that childless women aren't given the same freedoms. Instead, our needs are treated as frivolous or negotiable.
"I know you have your therapy, but you can miss that to stay back for this meeting."
But can I?
I'd argue this is because women are still valued based on if they are mothers. If you are a mother, you are seen as a worthy member of society, moulding minds and being a good person. If you're childless? Well, you're just young or selfish. Single, childless women are still treated like we are living like Carrie Bradshaw. We are spending our paycheques on designer handbags, and our only commitment is the next brunch date.