A DomPost reprint from the Sunday Times of an article by Amy Turner pointed out that there's a big difference between the supposedly enlightened West and the supposedly less enlightened East in terms of the numbers of senior women in business, and especially in banking.
One on four FTSE 100 companies has no women on its board, and there are just four female chief executives. In all, 113 women hold 131 FTSE 100 directorships, compared with 834 men holding 947. The NZ figures are, I think, even worse. And women know this. So, "Which came first, the chicken or the boys' club?"
And yet - and this is the part I really like - recent research on 17,000 companies found that those with at least one woman on their board were 20 percent less likely to go bankrupt.
Meanwhile the Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China - are doing a great deal better, especially in banking. Why? Apparently it's something to do with being able to call on extended family to fill the gaps, so high-flying women can manage much more easily. Plus they're typically from high-class elite families where servants are the norm. So they feel much less guilty.
Meanwhile the West still does its best to keep that old guilt going. In Germany a woman who tries "to balance a high-powered career with family life" is called a "rabenmutter" - raven mother - because ravens have a bad rep for neglecting their young. Damned if you do, dear, and damned if you don't.