We all know that crash test and CPR dummies are modelled on the ‘average’ male body – meaning women are 17% more likely to die in a car crash than men and 5% less likely to receive bystander CPR (British Heart Foundation) – but what about the lesser-known discrepancies? Standard office temperature was determined in the 1960s around the metabolic testing rate of the average man, when a recent Dutch study has found that the metabolic rate of women tends to be lower than that of men, meaning that offices are 5 degrees too cold for women. Or that for every female film character, there are 2.24 men. Or maybe that women do around three times more unpaid care work than men. Not to mention that the ever-increasing size of smartphone screens are generally too big for the female hand. Caroline Criado-Perez, a journalist and author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, told the BBC that “we are so used to thinking of men as the default and women as the niche” while historian Shirley Wajda says that trends towards standardisation for efficiency’s sake leads to “a ‘one size fits all’ sort of world”. Further demonstration of this harmful view is that female US Armed Forces personnel were still modifying male equipment for themselves as late as 2018.

So, how do we fix it? Well, for starters, we should go back to the beginning and focus on the infrastructure affecting working women. We need more affordable and government-run childcare and flexible working hours – the choice shouldn’t be between watching your kids grow up or maintaining a career. In general, fathers get 2 weeks of paid paternity leave and can choose to take 10 weeks off if the mother takes 30 weeks off. Why do the women have to have to sacrifice a career to be the primary carer? The maternity/paternity leave issue is not fair on anyone – it feeds into the everyday societal sexism and limits fathers as well as mothers.

Perhaps I am describing a utopia. Some will say that this can and will never be done, that inequality is too etched in our society. Indeed, it has been said it will take us over 100 years to reach true economic equality – but what’s the harm in hoping for a better world?