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  Topic: ‘Employers should be allowed
to ask women about plans for
children’, says female Facebook chief
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‘Employers should be allowed
to ask women about plans for
children’, says female Facebook chief

Daily Mail [UK], by Ruth Whitehead

Original Article

Posted By:JoniTx, 1/26/2013 1:23:17 PM

Companies should be able to ask their employees about whether they hope to have children, Sheryl Sandberg, one of the most senior women in Silicon Valley, said. Ms Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said that women are held back at work by stereotypes firms are unwilling to talk about. She said employees faced non-overt discrimination as well as overt discrimination and a lack of flexibility. The 43-year-old mother-of-two called for a much more open dialogue about gender, which included discussing with female employees whether they plan to have children,


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Reply 1 - Posted by: mitzi, 1/26/2013 1:46:03 PM     (No. 9140778)

Back in the Dark Ages when I started working - that was a standard interview question.

In fact, one interviewer came right and and told me that because I was recently married and would probably get pregnant, it wasn´t worth their while to hire me.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: bullhead, 1/26/2013 2:09:46 PM     (No. 9140815)

In the mean time, the family unit (Mom and Dad) is steadily crumbling.

The result is children growing up without the unique and vital nurturing that comes from the child´s mother.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: zephyrgirl, 1/26/2013 2:46:20 PM     (No. 9140869)

#1 - I had similar experiences when I started working 30 years ago.

Men quit jobs as frequently as women (usually for promotions), and it is never held against them. It is held against women if they choose to stay home with their young children.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: veritas, 1/26/2013 3:12:14 PM     (No. 9140922)

We should recognize there are legitimate, if conflicting, interests in play.

Women and families are due a level of respect for their privacy, and for their option of changing plans or for taking decisions at a later time.

Management has a responsibility to run an organization well, which in part means taking into account things that might disrupt it, like putting a lot of time and training into an employee [male or female] who already plans to leave after Time X.

Management also has a duty to be responsible in handling the owners´ invested capital.

Best to develop and protect a culture [ugh -- how to say this better?] where both sides reasonably, respectfully, and mutually look for a good result for all parties.

Gov´t, however, is always happy and eager to offer [read: impose] an inflexible, costly, one-size "solution."

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Reply 5 - Posted by: MattMusson, 1/26/2013 3:34:51 PM     (No. 9140950)

If a male CEO suggested this - he would be lynched.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: MisterDickens, 1/26/2013 3:46:08 PM     (No. 9140976)

Women are never satisfied. Employers can´t ask the question and women are still whining about it.

Here´s a suggestion for you ladies out there. Start your own business, work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for years to get it going and successful, and then you´ll know why businesses avoid hiring women with children and of child-bearing age.

My sister´s kids are all nearing 40 and she still stumbles over the chair and trash can in her office cubicle to get to her purse when her cell phone rings because "one of the kids may need me!"

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Reply 7 - Posted by: whyyeseyec, 1/26/2013 3:50:36 PM     (No. 9140985)

Well, you could look at it this way. Just tell a potential employer you are giving birth to a new taxpayer and future consumer of their product or service.


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Reply 8 - Posted by: Vivi, 1/26/2013 4:03:38 PM     (No. 9141001)

The supreme court settled this during the Reagan administration. Women have the same right to a family and a job as a man.

I do believe in staying home to raise your babies. But businesses can´t discriminate against young women in this way.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/26/2013 4:03:39 PM     (No. 9141002)

During the years I was hiring and firing, I knew better than to ask directly, but encouraging a woman to discuss her family gave me insight on how many working days would be at risk because of children problems.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: avmermaid, 1/26/2013 4:46:58 PM     (No. 9141050)

And you don´t dare fire a pregnant woman even if you have a copious amount of just cause documentation, because she will file a discrimination lawsuit against you. It´s all about getting paid while staying home with the baby even if you´ve only been on the job for 9 months.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: TXknitter, 1/26/2013 6:26:19 PM     (No. 9141176)

As a woman who was asked those intrusive questions 30 yrs. ago (yikes) and one who has hired and fired many employees, I agree with #6. Women seem to want it all. It´s called making choices and living with the consequences. If you choose the Board room or the operating room over being a full time Mom, do it and quit whining when your toddler runs to the nanny instead of you when in distress. If you wisely put children over career (if you have choice) then zip it if the man who has put in more time than you gets the promotion.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Rita, 1/26/2013 6:32:20 PM     (No. 9141188)

Business should *assume* that women hope to have children.

Women should *assume* that business shall not be underwriting their absences and diversions that come with their children.

A business is not all about you, unless it´s your business.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: bhkat, 1/26/2013 6:39:49 PM     (No. 9141199)

No company wants to hire someone, spend money training them and then six months (or three months) later have that person out for 2 months for maternity leave. It has happened to our company.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: columba, 1/26/2013 7:13:09 PM     (No. 9141228)

God made Man and Woman. They have created roles and freedom within those roles. How is it that the "gubmint" thinks it has better solution than God?

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Reply 15 - Posted by: MissMann, 1/26/2013 8:08:25 PM     (No. 9141273)

There may be a thousand good reasons or bad reasons, but this is America and personal liberty should mean that you can hire whomever you would like to, at whatever rate you and your employee agree to...

That some government entity gets to butt into a private situation is going the exact wrong direction from liberty and our other founding principles.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 1/26/2013 10:05:27 PM     (No. 9141408)

"called for a much more open dialogue about gender"

OK, to be fair, why not ask about sexual preference of gays and others ?

If you own a business, you should have the right to operate your business in a way so as to stay in business and the gov should butt out.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: bob913, 1/27/2013 3:12:48 AM     (No. 9141677)

We had a guy take 2 months off when his wife had a kid. When he came back he announced he was leaving as a his wife found a job out of the area. He was going to be a house husband.

It works both ways.

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