«I have a very clear memory of being a childless young woman in an office, seeing other women "nipping off early" for this sports day or, more annoyingly, for that bathtime. There was one colleague whose phone would ring every five minutes, and every five minutes I would pick it up and say: "No, I'm afraid she's working at home today."
I might have been irritated with them, but I also remember those women not being in impromptu meetings, or in the pub at the end of the day when ideas came up or decisions were made. I remember the sense that they were - just slightly - out of the loop.
I suppose what I'm saying is that I didn't want anyone to look at me that way. Workplaces aren't built on government policy, but on threads between people, many of whom don't have kids (some not out of choice). You can legislate as much as you like, but the office isn't a "child-friendly arena". And maybe it shouldn't be.»
And speaking of "office", that reminds me of a Viridian aphorism: "How these authors magnify their office! One dishonest plumber does more harm than a hundred poetasters." -- Augustine Birrell