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Mar 28 2014

Katie Hopkins – Verbal Diarrhoea is not a qualification

Katie Hopkins is a special piece of work.

There are some reality shows that I can understand. I despise anything involving celebrity, I don’t want to see some person who is famous for fame’s sake munch on Kangaroo Testicles for fame. Eat testicles for fun? That I can get behind. But not for the sole purpose of becoming famous.

Because then you will always be famous for eating kangaroo balls and what sort of a CV is that? What skill set does gonad munching cover?

Katie Hopkins is a spectacular example of the vapidity of celeb culture. And her celebdom was born out of a show I “actually” like. The Apprentice is one of the few reality shows I like mainly because it’s normal people and they compete on challenges that are related to business. I did team building stuff like that as a kid.

However she’s had some pretty daft views. My personal favourite?

She despises people with certain names invoking a sort of classism. In particular she dislikes people who name their kids after places.

Her kids name is India which she insists is not a place.

And she’s not even a very good business woman so I don’t know why she’s being interviewed. Her company has a loss of £10,000 and she has only two people within it. By contrast? A Million Gods makes a yearly profit of around £1000…. Beating her by around £11,000.

Doesn’t Exist Either

But recently she’s done an interview for the auto-play adtastic International Business Times. While the above is just idiotic ignorance, what occurs next is just the hypocritcal actions of someone who got hers but would rather tap dance on the fingers of others trying to climb to her position.

Women in Britain are still failing to break through the glass ceiling as only 20% of FTSE 100 boardroom members are held by females but infamous businesswoman, Katie Hopkins, believes this is down to the fairer sex ‘legislating themselves out of a job’.

According to the benchmark Cranfield Female FTSE report, launched by Britain’s business secretary Vince Cable, while FTSE 100 firms are employing more women in senior positions, the percentages still fall short of the 2015 target of 25%.

Speaking to IBTimes UK exclusively, Hopkins gives us the inside track to the (publicly) unspoken ‘cost burden’ of employing women and, therefore, how it impacts their chances of securing a top job.

Ah yes. Libertarians. The bizarre group of people who think that partial deregulation of the securities industry caused our economic crisis and this could be averted by total deregulation because they operate under the base assumption that total deregulation would have somehow prevented the excesses.

Q: According to the Cranfield FTSE100 Report on women in the boardroom, females only account for 20%. Why do you think that is?

A: The problem with women not moving into senior roles is down to a number things.

Women now have complete equality and, in fact, special treatment in a lot of ways. When women hit a certain age, they have children and then choose not to return to work. Or, if they do return to work, they are working part-time.

This obviously doesn’t help and when you’re employer and fishing from a shallower pool, this type of behaviour doesn’t get you into the boardroom.

Since when? We still live in a world where the majority of female rape victims never find justice, where spousal abuse occurs and where institutional sexism occurs in places like “politics” for example (See the UKIP’s Geoffrey Bloom calling women sluts).

Hell at this point we have Suey Park getting various rape threats for speaking out against Stephen Colbert…

Sexism isn’t dead, it’s just moved the post to something more acceptable.

The irony of this situation is that Katie Hopkins did precisely this. On the show the Apprentice she had to drop out because of her kids and being unable to make child-care arrangements.

But here is the thing? If we offered proper child-care and made child-care not a “female only job” then surely the reason to discriminate against women would be reduced? If men and women were equal, both would be capable and expected of child care and the demographics of people dropping out of work to care for kids would be 50:50. The fact that women are discriminated for this is pretty much evidence for sexism since it is a bias that prevents women from being judged by their capabilities and instead it’s being judged by their uterus contents.

Q: So do you feel that quotas, to propel more women into senior or leadership positions, are just giving females more ‘special treatment’?

A: Yes. People may call quotas ‘positive discrimination’ but I don’t think it’s positive – it’s just special treatment at the cost of others.

I’m not a fan of shortlists of women in leadership roles, such as the female only shortlist for political parties.

I also can’t stand those job adverts that say ‘women applicants are particularly welcomed’. If I was a bloke and I was reading that, I would think ‘what’s the point in applying if it’s more likely a woman is going to get the job anyway’.

This is just wrong. I’d hate to think I got a job because of my sex and that I was at the table for the wrong reason.

We asked for equal terms of employment but somewhere along the lines this changed.

Had the apprentice been run 50 years ago, Katie Hopkins would never have gotten on the show. The only reason she got on was that a generation of women used the “special treatment” to lever open the ideas of people in business to fathom a career business “woman”.

Yeah, in the ideal world where gender is no longer an issue then the gender of an employee would not matter but right now it does because Katie herself has faced discrimination due to her gender being expected to deal with child-care and make sacrifices towards family.

Quotas break the norm and normalise “blindness” to a discriminatory practice.

Let us look at race. In order to be taken seriously without the quotas you had to be exceptional. It’s why you never hear of “average” black (and indeed South Asians) people breaking the boundaries. Ramanujam for example was a savant. He literally was a self taught mathematical genius producing mathematics that people who benefitted from the social support structure to be mathematicians considered amazing. He was an “Einstein” and even he needed patronage from a serious force in Mathematics.

By contrast there would have been some very very average people in Mathematics who were white. Ramanujam only really got his place in the sun because he was undeniably exceptional and even then he may have been treated as a curiosity rather than something all Indians could achieve.

But the boundaries he broke let others through. With quotas, society becomes more and more equal till you do not need them any more.

And if 20% of staff are female then even if the sign says women are welcome, chances are men will still make up the majority of recruits.

Q: Do you think then the unspoken ‘cost burden’ of female workers plays a role in less women in leadership positions?

A: This is an unspoken publicly but among all the business leaders I speak to privately, this is a major concern. Privately, they have also asked not to send women to apply for jobs because of this problem.

The public sector can bear the heavy costs of maternity leave but it’s absolutely inexcusable for private and commercial companies to bear the burden.

As an employer, if I had a 25 year old woman and a 25 year old guy standing side by side for a job, I would pick the guy every time.

Men have paternity leave but guess what? – they need or want it. Only 20% of men take the full two weeks off.

Women demanded maternity leave but now they have legislated themselves out of the game, so I would say ‘suck it up’.

Then there is no reason to ever hire a woman.

And I think men should have an equal amount of paternity leave. That way the burden is equal. In addition we often complain that fathers cannot spend enough time with their children.

Women demanded maternity leave because it is impossible to have children and keep a job otherwise. I don’t think Katie understand this (Consider she thinks India isn’t a real place?) but with no maternity leave, women will be even more negatively affected because women will HAVE to quit their jobs to care for a child or worse.

Come to work after leaving the child. This actually places an undue stress on  the working woman and families with working parents since a woman’s job is never secure since pregnancy would effectively cripple a career or force women to work until birth and then leave their babies as soon as possible to keep their jobs.

In fact care for children will go down. And most importantly? The people most affected will be the poorest.

Q: Maternity leave in the UK is comparatively ‘generous’ compared to our American cousins across the pond. Do you think these are too harsh?

A: I love the US for its employment laws

In America you can hire and fire at will, which is fair enough if there is a downturn and you need to cut costs. It seems harsh but that can really help a company when times get tough.

When I was in the US working and had my first child, I had six weeks unpaid leave. I thought that was great and a wake-up call to how having a child was my own financial responsibility.

And in the USA, children of poorer families have some of the worst outcomes due to the fact their mothers HAVE to go to work rather than bond and care for the child.

And applauding the lax  labour laws of the USA because you can cut costs is a terrifyingly bad business practice. Who goes into business thinking about cutting jobs? What sort of enterpreneur’s business strategy is reliant on cheap labour practices?

Oh right. Sweatshop owners. Katie Hopkins would be a Dickensian Villainess if not for her gross incompetence.

And it shows an appalling lack of understanding of economics in that high unemployment and employee turnover is actually bad for productivity. And that her argument is of such fantastic privilege that it sounds like a parody.

Because in an economic downturn the people who suffer the most are the richest rather than the people who have lost their jobs.

Q: Do you think that the UK should start emulating the US then? What changes would you make?

A: I’d love to sit down with the government and look at a list of all the UK employment red tape and axe 10 points from that.

You don’t even know that a country that contains 1/7th of the world’s population exists. Why the fuck is the International Business Times interviewing someone on Business issues who has effectively been so terrible at that, that she is in debt? And whose only credentials of note seem to be “Contestant on the Apprentice”, “Bad at Geography” and “Terrible Person”.

There needs to be more of a balance and it’s too far in favour of the employee.

We need to start thinking about how to support the employer and the significant costs they bear when they take on women.

We can alleviate those costs by utilising tax payer systems for child care and by encouraging equality with regards to the treatment of women so that men share an equal pressure in taking care of the child so that the costs apply to both genders.

We could reduce lots of government spending if we tightened up on maternity leave which is a year-long holiday.

Spoken like someone whose children were cared for by others.

We’ve tightened up on everywhere else, including pensions and now we are granting more childcare support.

Yes, because fuck poor people’s children.

Great!

So let’s now balance it out and sort out maternity leave.

So what’s the point? the Interrnational Business Times clearly doesn’t understand Business or if it does thinks that the few business owners are more important than those who work for them. Katie’s description basically boils down to “terrible” person

11 comments

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    The public sector can bear the heavy costs of maternity leave but it’s absolutely inexcusable for private and commercial companies to bear the burden

    Funny, my husband works for one of the world’s global players. They are the world leader in their field. They also just opened a social centre with daycare that fits shifts, emergency daycare, health and sports offers. And they’re still making a shitload of profits.

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    Her kids name is India which she insists is not a place.

    Wait, what?! I know we Americans suck at geography, but this is beyond ridiculous.

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