July 2021

“You’re a busy little girl!”

Article in the Daily Mail

When I was small, I often smarted at the injustice of being a girl. Why was my brother taken into the cockpit of a plane, but I wasn’t? Why wasn’t I allowed to join the football game at my summer camp? What infuriated me most of all, though, was being patronised.

I hoped that, as a childhood annoyance, this would disappear as I grew up. Like pretty much all women, though, I discovered that I still had to fight harder than men to be taken seriously, and that even then, people I met for the first time would often patronise me.

About the author

Journalist, author, non-executive director, broadcaster

Mary Ann Sieghart is author of the best-selling book, The Authority Gap: Why Women Are Still Taken Less Seriously Than Men, and What We Can Do About it. She 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. She was Chair of the judges for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022.

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Mary Ann Sieghart