Forward thinking female?

I read with interest the story about Nicola Mendelsohn, former advertising executive bagging the job of Facebook's new vice-president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Sadly I didn't take from it how great it is someone from a creative career path has made it to VP. No, instead the nub of the story is that Nicola will (allegedly) work a four day week because she is a mother and, it infers, because she is a woman.

Hold on a minute. Is it me or has this morphed into a story about females in senior positions and pressure to have it all again?

Back in 2009 French Justice Minister Rachida Dati was back at work after giving birth just five days before! Since 2010 Licia Ronzulli's an MEP from Italy, has been taking her child into parliament in Strasbourg.

Part of me commends them, I am proud that they want to juggle and represent their constituents or hold a senior position in a multinational company but part of me is also really sad that these events are wrapped up in the F word - feminism. But to me that isn't equality, not by a long chalk.

I don't want to feel pressured into being all things to all people. I also don't want women to feel that motherhood isn't a tremendous, vital and beautiful role in our society.

Focusing through a single lense on of any of these women is hugely naive and puts pressure on women in every-day jobs to aim for what Nicola, Rachida or Licia have achieved. But what we don't see is if Nicola has a nanny, or a Rachida has cleaner or Licia a brilliant family support network. Women should feel supported to take maternity leave and as much as I accept it is personal choice in these very public examples the pressure that they can do it so everyone else should is unfortunate.

The way this story has yet again played out in the media, in my humble opinion, devalues Nicola's achievement. So what if she is in Facebook HQ four days a week, I don't think it is any of our business. But I hope it filters down across all the business and that it is acceptable for a dad to have a four day week too.

Then maybe we'll be somewhere near equality.