Tara Hamilton-Miller: Cameron cannot ignore sisterhood

Women in the City are paid less than men. No surprise there, but this week's statistics, revealed by the unbootable Trevor Phillips of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, were truly shocking.

Tara Hamilton-Miller
Tara Hamilton-Miller

Slight confusion as to how they worked out the numbers - lots of secretaries who are obviously paid less than bankers were included in the overall figures - but Phillips claims that, even with bonuses, banks get away with paying women less.

Why has Phillips just come out with this now? Everyone knew there was inequality in wage packets. Could it be because he needed to let everyone know brand Trevor and the EHRC are business as usual? To keep his pet quango in the news, this slippery cat has bleated about most subjects - except why most of his staff have left him over the past few months.

There is a problem with pay and sometimes misogyny, but it's not for Phillips to sort out. For years he has been in bed with a government that has done nothing for women. Labour female MPs have been a shoddy representative of the fairer sex in general.

What has been going on over the past decade? A government that championed equality, all these newly elected women, 'Blair's babes'. Did the worm turn? What a waste - where are you now, smiling hopeful ladies?

Recently, Harriet Harman has made a last-ditch attempt to champion the girls with her own brand of feminism. Sulky, angry, bullying 1970s feminism - Harman should not be the poster girl for equality.

Another example is Caroline Flint: backing Gordon Brown then changing her mind hours later, claiming she felt like 'window-dressing' all because she didn't get the promotion. Bad for the girls, Flint.

Women everywhere should fight for equality, especially in financial services, where it is particularly lacking. But the sisterhood has to approach it in a different way. There is a plethora of females on the brink of making it into Parliament, strong women who will whip David Cameron's arse if he does not let them be heard. Speaking as a feminist, my bras are too fabulous to burn. I'll ignite a tea-towel instead, or perhaps a sock.

- Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team.

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