Why Won’t IBM Execs Hire Young Women? Because They’ll ‘Just Get Pregant Over & Over Again’

July 28, 2014  |  

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Yapping away about their aversion to hiring young women at a restaurant, IBM executives had no idea that Lyndsay Kirkham, a Canada-based editor and coder, was live-tweeting snippets of their sexist conversation. And apparently, they refuse to hire us ladies because we’re “baby-making machines,” according to Jezebel.

 “…IBM doesn’t like hiring young women because they are ‘just going to get themselves pregnant again and again and again,” Kirkham tweeted, eavesdropping on what Jezebelcalls the “forces of patriarchy.”

They would, however, be open to hiring “mature” women who are not likely to give birth.

To our dismay, according to Kirkham’s interview with the Daily Dot, she discerns that the chauvinist IBM execs are part of the company’s human resources team due to their proficiency in HR mumbo jumbo. Kirkham added that the sexist simpletons rambled on about female workers at IBM:

“[T]he executives listed off a number of women who are currently employed at IBM, all of whom apparently have kids, and listed the amount of time the women were expected to take off in the next few years for anticipated pregnancies,” she told Daily Dot.

On paper, IBM says that it does not “discriminate in hiring, promotion, compensation of employees and employment practices on grounds of race, color, religion, age, nationality, social or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, [and] gender.” But if the HR manager is riddled with this hidden gender bias, the company statement is just hot air.

Obviously, it would be absurd to assume all human resource managers share the same sentiment of these IBM executives, but it would be safe to speculate that the “motherhood penalty” plays a significant role in the female-starved top-tier corporate world. Women with children, for example, are nearly 80 percent less likely to score a job than their childless female counterparts, as per a 2007 Cornell study. When it comes to promotions? Mothers are 100 percent less likely to move up the career ladder. Yikes!

According to the Daily Mail, even female managers are reluctant to hire ladies of child-bearing age; about 25 percent would be uneasy about to hiring young women.

“It’s a systemic problem,” Kirkham told ThinkProgress, “it [starts] at the job interview,” where a young woman gets overlooked “because one day [she] might pop out a kid.”

It starts, actually, prior to the interview. IBM, according to Jezebel, must make sure that all their employees “recognize that 1) women are people, not pregnancies-waiting-to-happen, and 2) those women who do choose to get pregnant need maternity leave.”

What do you think?

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