Women should be on equal footing with men in the workplace- Kingston

09 November 2017

Labour spokesperson on Equality, Councillor Deirdre Kingston, has said the controversy surrounding John Halligan’s interview questions highlights that despite some progress, there is still a level of gender bias against women in the workplace.

Councillor Kingston said:

“The Ireland of today is thankfully a different place to the days when married women were forced out of the workplace.

 “But as this controversy has clearly shown, there is still a degree of gender bias against women in the workplace, particularly when it comes to interview situations.

“How many employers could honestly say they would be as likely to hire a young woman over a young man, with an identical skillset and range of experience?

“Would it cross the employer’s mind that the woman might be likely to go on maternity leave at some point, and so the man would be a better hire on that basis?

 “Or would there be an implication that a woman with children might not be able to put in the same amount of hours, or give the same commitment as a man to a particular role?

“If we are to achieve true gender equality in the workplace when it comes to getting jobs, being promoted and with pay parity, we need a shift in mind-set.

“Apart from the fact that discrimination based on gender is illegal, young women or women of any age for that matter, shouldn’t be discriminated against because of any subconscious bias that might exist.

“It mightn’t be said out loud, but how many young women feel they are not on an equal footing with a man in an interview situation for virtue of the fact they are a woman.”

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