June 2021

The real reason why women are still paid less than men

Article in Sunday Telegraph

Picture this. I’m at a conference, talking to two fellow (male) attendees: a former head of the Foreign Office and a BBC foreign correspondent. They know far more about foreign affairs than I do, but I probably have the edge in UK politics, having spent 30 years as a political columnist. Up comes another attendee who knows none of us. He ignores me and asks the men: ‘Could Tony Blair ever make a comeback?’

‘Not a chance,’ I reply, and go on to explain why. He refuses even to look at me while I’m talking, half-turning his back, and asks a follow-up question of the two men.

‘Look,’ I say, touching him on the arm so that he has to turn my way. ‘I’m the British political columnist here. I do actually know what I’m talking about.’ 

About the author

Journalist, author, non-executive director, broadcaster

Mary Ann Sieghart spent 20 years as Assistant Editor and columnist at The Times and won a large following for her columns on politics, economics, feminism, parenthood and life in general. She has presented many programmes on BBC Radio 4, such as Start the Week, Profile, Analysis, Fallout and One to One. She chaired the revival of The Brains Trust on BBC2 and recently spent a year as a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She has chaired the Social Market Foundation think tank, is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, and sits on numerous boards.

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Mary Ann Sieghart