I have just watched Katie Hopkins – who you may barely remember from The Apprentice and her laughable performance on Question Time a few months back – argue that women should only take ‘three weeks’ maternity leave and that it is bad for business if they take longer than that.
‘Business is not about family planning,’ she said. ‘Business is about making profit.’
‘To be honest it’s beyond me why any working woman would want to take more than a couple of weeks off,’ she said. ‘Perish the thought of becoming some brainless, bloated version of your former self.’
The thing Katie seems to be forgetting – and I’ve seen it happen – is that women who return to work too early after giving birth don’t do themselves, their babies or their companies any favours. Their mind is always elsewhere, they aren’t focused on their work, and really, they would rather be at home with their children.
And you know what? That’s exactly how it should be. Mums and babies need time together, time to bond. I’m not saying that I think women should be entitled to endless maternity leave on full pay – I don’t; but I do believe very firmly that they should be able to take off as long as they want to, so that they are able to return to the workforce fully focused on their jobs, and secure in the knowledge that they have given their children the best possible start in life.
There used to be an argument that if women wanted to beat men at their own game, they had to act like men. But we’ve come such a long way. The idea that to be successful as a woman in business you have to be a ball-busting, hard as nails bitch is hopelessly outdated. Betraying all women by making irrational statements on the TV doesn’t make you intelligent; it makes you a laughing stock.
Katie Hopkins, if I was your boss, you would definitely be fired.
*What do you think? I’d love to hear your views