Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sir Alan Sugar: What I really think of women at work

Not being able to find out about a person's intentions to have children (or not) creates an air of uncertainty.
I feel that the employment laws today - where bosses can't ask questions about things such as home life and kids - are damaging to women.

They are counterproductive. . . . It puts doubts in the mind of a prospective employer about the commitment and suitability of the candidate for the job.

The reality is that some employers are hesitant to employ women in key roles.

Regretfully, there's concern in the back of their minds that women may not be a good choice because they may come with complications and have their work and career disrupted by family stuff.
. . .
These smaller companies are welloiled machines with no spare parts - the boss employs exactly the staff they need.

They are not a charity and people are employed to do a job and be part of the team. . . . So it's important that these employers have workers they can rely on to be there. Things need to run smoothly, without constant absences.

I know this is not fair but business doesn't always do fair. Women have to accept this reality and be shrewd enough to deal with it.

I believe women should be allowed the opportunity to explain how their home life will not disrupt their work, rather than have their job hopes binned due to guesswork.

The law does not allow these discussions to take place, so my advice to women applying for a job is to empower themselves.
Technorati Tag:


firefly said...

Yes, this is the other side of the coin: when you're an employee, you're expected to live your whole life at the job.

I don't know which is worse, the pressure about being childfree or the pressure toward a careerist existence.

Personally, I have a nice little part-time job that only I can perform, that is deadline oriented, in a two-person office. Because a lot of it is conducted online I am able to attend to it in a flexible way and also have plenty of time (and an understanding boss) to take paid days off to work at my multiple vocations.

Frankly, these kind of veiled threats really annoy the crap out of me. How about a career with humane hours and expectations instead of a capitalist slave-labor hamster wheel? We'd all be better off.

Anonymous said...

How do you think we could tactfully express to our bosses that family concerns are a non issue? Should one solely express their plans concerning a career path or actually mention their plan for a childless future? Thanks for your blog! I had decided to be childless at age 17 and a decade later am making my personal goals a reality. My Irish-Italian family is still waiting for baby fever to take hold. Your blog is a super resource for morale!