Dear Sister

Not so long ago when I was young

planning my career and having fun

Thinking about what meaningful work to do

to help pull us out of this global stew


With joy and anticipation in my heart

I turn up to my job eager to start

Put the effort in to make my mark

working hard to prove i’m the right smart.


Sitting alongside me was a boy

started the same day and the same toil

Talking about stuff we fell on wages

what i discovered made me rage for ages.


To be told as you have no family to feed

well actually you're not married so it's not our problem you see

He has responsibilities to his family a growing

your a single woman so please stop moaning.


Here in this office only us men wear the pants

so get on little lady enough with these rants

Sit right back and put your head down

we have work to do so we can own this town.


In my youth I outwardly accepted this fate

afraid to be shown the exit gate

Inside I wept becoming a label

a less than sitting at the same table.


I tell you this story

not to shame or disgrace

but to help build respect within human race


As I grew up I spent my time

developing my craft to end this crime

Working to change the paradigm of work

so we can all come together as humans first.


This was my story when I was young

it’s not now thank god for some

Standing on the shoulders of strong women gone before

I say thank you for taking to the floor


For turning up the volume of our collective voice

we at least in some parts now have more choice.


So dear sister

we have much more to do

come right in and join our global pool

Vote with your skills talent and feet

have the courage to walk up the street

Put your heels on or grab those flats

it's time to move forward not to push back

This poem was inspired by a story of women needing to wear heels of a particular height at a workplace in London. It brought back memories of my first experience at work and coming across gender inequality. This is that story.

©Corina Roobeck