Lessons from a Lib Dem – if you quit work to have babies, your career rise is likely to be disrupted

Maybe we need British Lib Dem minister Lynne Featherstone to come here and tell it like it is, rather than tell it the way too many women want it to be.

She recognises that women taking a break to have children allow men to climb the ladder faster.

And this explains gender inequalities in the workplace.

This should be self-evident.

Moreover, it should be clear that governments can not legislate to make men have babies and so make things more equitable.

Clear to most people, anyway, although maybe not to fluffy-headed feminists and leftie MPs.

The Daily Mail (here) reports –

Lib Dem minister Lynne Featherstone said women taking a break to have children allow men to climb the ladder faster

The fact women ‘still have babies’ is to blame for the lack of gender equality in Britain today, according to a Lib Dem minister.

Lynne Featherstone, an international development minister who was in charge of equalities until September’s reshuffle, said childbirth was a ‘barrier’ to women’s career success.

She said women who devoted time to bringing up children suffer a ‘setback’ because it gives ‘mediocre’ men an opportunity to leapfrog them on the corporate ladder.

Those forthright remarks were made as her party leader, Nick Clegg, announced plans to allow men and women to share their parental leave.

But he was forced to drop more radical plans to extend paternity leave to six weeks after opposition from the Tories and business.

Six weeks?

In this country we have parental leave of 14 weeks.

Obviously we are being much too generous.

But there are moves afoot among the lefties and greenies to push it out to 26 weeks.

Meanwhile it seems a group of Tory MPs in the UK is launching an investigation into why so few executive directors in the country’s biggest companies are women.

Female MPs, it should be emphasised.

The Executive Women in the Workplace inquiry, co-chaired by Therese Coffey and Mary Macleod, will take evidence from companies, investors and recruitment firms.

Alf must confess to having failed to keep track of efforts to extending paid parental leave here.

The last he heard (see here) was BusinessNZ boss Phil O’Reilly saying this was “probably not the best use of taxpayer money at this time”.

Business NZ chief executive Phil O’Reilly told TV ONE’s Breakfast this morning that the current state of New Zealand’s economy means that it is not the right time to implement Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Private Member’s Bill.

“In principle, it will probably be a good thing at some stage, and evidence suggests New Zealand’s [current] provision is probably less than ideal.

“But spending between $285 million and 300 million is a lot of money if we are trying to get the books back into surplus by 2014 – 2015,” he said.

O’Reilly also commented that he thought that the money would be better targeted for educating “at risk” mothers and their children.

Moroney’s proposal to extend parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks passed its first reading in July, on a day Alf was absent and unable to swing things the other way with his eloquence and forceful arguments on the topic.

But because the Government estimated the bill would cost around $500 million over three years, Finance Minister Bill English said we – your splendid government – would use our powers of financial veto to make sure it failed.

Yeah, the issue arose again when the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment revealed findings which estimated the bill would only cost $166 million over three years.

But dammit, “only” $166 million over three years is money better spent on other things.

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