“We are like a repellent,” an attractive woman graduate working at a top investment company told me. As I surveyed accomplished women this past week, one after the other told the same story. The men are intimidated. They are socialised into being in charge – socially, intellectually and financially – like their fathers and the men before them. It is the woman partner who used to get put down at those stuffy cocktail events or dinner with colleagues: “So what do you do?” An answer like “I’m just an ordinary housewife” meant the questioner simply moved on to someone more interesting. But the woman in question is married.

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