By Midnight tonight, all UK companies over 250 employees will have to register their gender pay gap figures and Pippa will get a leaving present.
Since December 2016, the University of Admin’s Humanoid Resources have been doing all sorts of naughty things to massage those particular statistics – toxic HR smoothies, abductions, cryogenics..
This seems a very good time to give our Super Secretary some additional powers. But in doing so, we will need to complete Pippa’s story arc on Instagram and let her fly.
It could be a hiatus; it could be because we need to explore other mediums and secretarial art projects need to evolve.
Because, at the Poodlepods Main Office, we believe that art should never stand still and with all these hashtags, times have changed; creatively, we are spent. With my dollies, we have now said everything we wanted to say with our thinking inside the box.
I have loved our silly times together with Intern Billy, Sindy, Robert Redford Robot – even the HR fembots – and the brilliant comments. They’ve been a revelation and so much better than any feedback from a traditional gallery exhibition.
But, after a year, (the equivalent to 25 years in the big dolly world), Pippa has not progressed at all. Even with the superpowers of hard graft, humour and imagination, she has been kept firmly in her place (locked-up in the Vice-Chancellor’s attic) and this is all just a virtual reality trip.
The account will be left as a story to dip in and out, as part of a project that makes a bigger picture.
Today, Pippa is just as invisible now as when we started.
Ironically, a lighthearted pitch to a national newspaper’s higher education section was rejected. A follow-up explaining the project, was met with silence – a brilliant example of how some voices find it very difficult to be heard, even when the story is authentic, meaningful and with repetitive strain injury. No wonder, Pippa feels compelled to ditch the equality awards:
We will see if Poodlepods can have any more luck on the arts pages (!)
Three years ago, I could have really done with transparency in pay and grade. I left a job on principle, one I had enriched whilst working for free, and this project is the result.
So, on this important day, my little career Pippa doll will hop over to my fine art account, open her leaving present and find a bit of closure, for both of us.
I’d like her to stay with me in the studio, rather than the office. She confuses people and as an interdisciplinary artistypist, I love that. Her little plastic limbs, glossy hair and presumed superficiality, jar very nicely with my aesthetically beautiful detritus and carbon atom installations.
The question is, can we finally pull together and both achieve career visibility in two very different worlds? For me, having worked around snobbish disdain, they both have the same issues of worth and value; pay gaps and progression.
As a secretary, it is galling, but as an artist, it is fascinating.
Artistypist, Vice-Chancellor’s Fool and Senior Tutor