Mothers: to blame for glass ceiling.

According to Eleanor Mills at TimesOnline, women have become greedy with maternity leave.

“I am absolutely livid,” fumed my friend. A headhunter, she had just been told that a woman she had placed with a top FTSE company had taken a year’s maternity leave, come back, begged for a promotion (telling the HR department threateningly that she didn’t want to be ruled out just because she had a small child), got the promotion and two months into her new job announced she was pregnant again and would be taking another year off. The HR department boss was unhappy but could do nothing. The woman was within her legal rights.

“It just takes the piss,” said my friend. “Behaving like that just makes it much more difficult for the rest of us.”

My friend is not a dinosaur, she is a mid-thirties working mother who recruits men and women into senior jobs all over industry: “Every time a woman does that, it makes it that much harder for me to put forward a female the next time. Women who abuse the system give all of us a bad name.”

So am I reading this right? Apparently women who dare to want to have children and take the maternity leave they’re legally entitled to, are to blame for the glass ceiling. You hear that, ladies? You’re not just to blame for the fall of society and the state of the youth of today, but for sexism within employment as well. Wonderful.

3 Responses

  1. Of course it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s framed as maternal leave, not parental leave, thus implying that the standard biology for employment is male, or at least infertile female. Businesses couldn’t possibly be to blame for this. It’s just not possible. Has to be the mothers.

  2. Oh jeez. Not again. I thought Sir Digby “never employ a woman of childbearing age” was bad enough but now? I do love a bit of mother-blaming when it comes from another mother. And when I say “love” I mean “it makes me feel nauseous”.

  3. @Lucy – Here in Canada, we do get Maternity Leave. It’s the leave you take during pregnancy, if you’re having complications that require rest or if your job is not suitable for your stage in pregnancy. Anything you take after the baby is born is called Parental Leave and is available, in equal measure, to parents of either gender.

    There’s still some social change that needs to happen, of course. It’s generally frowned upon for men to take more than a month or two of parental leave, and many people will still colloquially refer to the whole thing as “mat leave.” But still, it’s a very good start.

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