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Growing number of Northern Ireland women vying for seat at Westminster reflects the changing face of workplace

Editor's Viewpoint

The latest figures show that 36 out of 109 candidates in the General Election here are women. This is up to a third, compared to less than a quarter in the 2015 General Election.

It is easy to fall into the trap of talking about sexual stereotypes when looking at work in general.

However, it is fair to note that many women show attributes such as toughness and strong competitiveness that may have once been perceived as exclusively masculine.

Equally, a man can be traduced for showing his emotion, which has been regarded traditionally as more of a female attribute. The truth is that each person brings his or her own individual make-up and strengths to a role, and that is what matters.

While it would be wrong to draw too broad brush a picture, women are thought to be more empathetic, though not exclusively so.

A greater mix of men and women makes for a richer dimension in general, which brings together all kinds of life and work experiences.

Women are now making a greater impact on a wide range of professions, including medicine, business, law, academia and other areas, though sadly there are important issues about females earning less than men.

The greater number of women in politics here is welcome. Some people believed previously that there were fewer women in politics because they had more sense than men to become involved.

However, the truth of that was probably due to a culture that treated women merely as tea and sandwich makers.

Currently, the leaders of the DUP, Sinn Fein and Alliance parties are women, and it is impossible to underestimate the value of having females in such visible roles when it comes to encouraging, and inspiring, younger women to consider a career in politics or indeed, any career.

What matters most is not whether someone is an able male or female politician, but whether he or she is simply a good politician.

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