I'm a Kiwi living in London!
This morning I was messaging my pal in New Zealand, who mentioned the Labour Party has a new leader, Jacinda Ardern. She told me she is the youngest Labour Party leader, and she was thrilled to see a younger person taking on the role, instead of out of touch middle aged "dinosaurs" roaming the halls of parliament.
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Of course I wanted to know more about her, and jumped onto google. To my disgust, the first article I come across. Unacceptable': New Zealand's Labour leader asked about baby plans seven hours into job
What! Is this what we have come to? This is totally outrageous! It's 2017, have we not moved on, have we not progressed? Why as women, do we constantly face these questions, my husband has never been asked if he will be taking paternity leave. This particular article referred to a radio interview on New Zealand's The AM Show, in which co-host Mark Richardson asked:
“If you are the employer of a company you need to know that type of thing from the woman you are employing, the question is, is it OK for a PM to take maternity leave while in office?”
Jacinta responded; "It is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace, it is unacceptable, it is unacceptable. It is a women’s decision about when they choose to have children and it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job or have job opportunities.”
Bravo Jacinta, I applaud you for your response. As a women with three children, not only do I juggle my career and family life, In the past six years been made redundant twice, once while on maternity leave and the other while pregnant, I find this outdated and simply sexist attitude repulsive.
I've also experienced inappropriate questioning during interviews, such as; "How will you deal with childcare?" And "How will you cope with three children?" My husband has never been asked these questions.
So, my question to you, Mark Richardson:
"What is fundamentally wrong at heart of the corporate boardroom, where businesses feel it's acceptable to focus on childcare and maternity leave rather than the knowledge, thought leadership and expertise, many talented women can bring to the Workplace"
(It appears perhaps Mark Richardson himself needs to brush up on his knowledge and expertise in his questioning..."Human Rights Act of 1993, states it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a current or potential employee on the grounds of being pregnant or wanting to have children in the future.")