"Swinging dick" or life of domesticity?

Once upon a time, a little girl dreamed of being a lawyer. Or a doctor, a scientist, a writer, a vet. She did well at school; teachers and parents encouraged her to study, and go on to University. If she knuckled down and applied her brain, she could become anything she wanted.

These days, women's choices are notably broader than a generation ago. Despite the fact that - even now - only 16% of company board members are women, it feels as though we're moving towards a consensus that women can, and should, be able to succeed in the workplace. Anti-discrimination laws have been tightened up; and high-profile campaigns, like the Everyday Sexism Project, make it commonplace to name and shame the perpetrators of derogatory remarks and actions.

All this is for the good. It spells out a more equitable society, with young women feeling they don't need to put up with being held back from realising their dreams.

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