Letters: “As a reformed misogynist I’m backing Pinder”

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Polling station sign outside a community hall
Polling station. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Dear editor,

I found the article [about female entrepreneurs] most interesting. 

Read: Bedford business owner says upskilling female entrepreneurs will grow local and national economy

Having operated two successful businesses in Bedford for over 50 years I have a confession to make.  For much of my working life, I was a subconscious misogynist.  

By this I mean I was not intentionally, not promoting or considering women for particular jobs.  It was just in my ‘DNA’ that I believed they were not suitable and/or would not be interested in such roles.  Probably more the latter than the former.   

This is something I bitterly regret.  I am not sure exactly when I had my ‘lightbulb’ moment, maybe when my daughter was born, following two of her brothers.  Maybe it was when two women in particular at work, caught my attention with how really fantastic they were at their jobs, especially in comparison to their male peers.

However, happily, before it was too late (but still later than I would have liked), I did recognise that women were just as capable of filling the top vacancies within my business, as their male colleagues were.  

I am pleased to say that for the last few years, we have had a female Managing Director at the helm of our building surveying practice.  This company has excelled under her leadership and has quickly become the most important business within our group of family-owned businesses.  

We have recognised within the group, the value of our female employees and glass ceilings have been completely removed, as have unintended gender pay gaps.  In fact, the tables have turned, and females are often looked at in preference to males, as they demonstrate a higher level of commitment and loyalty to the business.

This leads me to why I am supporting the campaign of Pinder Chauhan, Conservative Parliamentary candidate.  

I had thought at the next election I may for the first time in my adult life, not vote.  I am (was) so disillusioned with politics, much like the rest of the British public. 

When Pinder knocked on my door, her sincerity and desire to be a ‘new kind of politician’ persuaded me that maybe there was light at the end of the ‘soundbite tunnel’ we have been stuck in.  

If we want a real champion for women’s rights, someone who has had to (still has to) work much harder than her male counterparts to receive the recognition she deserves, then get behind Pinder. 

I have personally never seen anyone work so hard as Pinder does, with an unreal level of determination not to be thwarted. So, I hope your readers can at least give her a fair hearing.

Regards

Pete Henrickson (reformed misogynist)
Rothsay Gardens
Bedford

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