Lyndsay Kirkham, A freelance coder, was having lunch in downtown Toronto yesterday when she claimed she overheard some IBM executives discussing why they have concerns with hiring women.
“They were talking about how they weren’t going to be hiring any new women – specifically any young women – that they were only going to be hiring mature women, because young women get pregnant again and again and again.”
There was some “head-nodding and quiet yeses, she recalled.
“They then went on to talk about how women needed to take extra time in the summer because they needed to de-stress from the work, home stress, and how mature women were a better bet [for hiring] because they had already done their child-rearing.”
Kirkham tweeted the conversation live, and, she said, was overwhelmed with responses, including from some who wrote they’d seen or heard the same.
“I was shocked,” she told Galloway, “because I couldn’t believe they were so comfortable in their sexism that they were willing to have this conversation in public … It just underlined for me that while we’ve got female CEOs — Virginia (Rometty of IBM) Sheryl (Sandberg, COO of Facebook and co-author of Lean In) and Marissa (Mayer of Yahoo), this ethos is so pervasive.”