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.