CEO: Monthly ‘Problems’ Why Women Earn Less

The head of a business group has been fired after asserting that menstruation makes women less productive in the workplace than men.

Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of New Zealand's Employers and Manufacturers Association, made the comments during a radio debate.

The BBC reported that Thompson sparked controversy by suggesting that women earned less than men because "once a month they have sick problems." He added that when women become mothers "they have to take time off to go home" to look after their children.

Thompson told radio station NewstalkZB that he was not sexist and insisted that his comments were the "facts of life."

"Who takes the most sick leave?" he asked during the radio show on June 23. "Women do, in general."

In a statement, the EMA's board said it "considered this matter for some time" and felt that Thompson was "no longer able to continue" in the role.

According to the BBC, Women's Affairs Minister Hekia Parata said Wednesday that Thompson's remarks were "unacceptable to a wide range of people."

But Helen Kelly, president of the Council of Trade Unions, told Newstalk ZB that firing Thompson was not enough.

She said the organization needed to take action to ensure "businesses understand discrimination is not in their interests and needs to be addressed."

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  • by Alumni Location: Morehead City on Jul 9, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    Well, women could easily say "at times" men seem to be less productive in the work place because they are preoccupied with sexual misconduct (but of course, not always the case). This is just the "fact of life." Which gender is always on the news for sexual misconduct.
  • by Also... on Jul 7, 2011 at 07:14 AM
    Women spend more time sick or at the doctor. Their bodies require more maintenance and break down quicker. In old movies, they use to fall down and twist their ankle when running from the scary monster or evil villain...forcing the hero (the man) to stop and help her.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:13 PM in reply to Also...
      If women's bodies break down faster, why is it that they live longer and have better distance endurance... and heat tolerance... and...
    • reply
      by oh really on Jul 8, 2011 at 06:33 AM in reply to Also...
      a man's body couldn't endure pregnancy or childbirth. the old movie ankle twist was a STORY PLOT to make the man feel needed. the damsel in distress ploy is just that - a ploy. a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
  • by Sadly True on Jul 7, 2011 at 05:48 AM
    The truth will set you free, but it will tick you off first. Seriously when my kids are sick my wife stays home. The truth hurts. No one can say what he says isnt true to some degree.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:14 PM in reply to Sadly True
      Not all women have children. Not all households are run in that "typical" fashion of man work/woman childcare either.
    • reply
      by oh really on Jul 8, 2011 at 06:31 AM in reply to Sadly True
      no kids here. $80K salary. hubby stays home. wrap your neanderthal head around that one.
  • by XY Chromosome on Jul 7, 2011 at 03:36 AM
    Granted, this fellow's comment was certainly less than politically correct, but do the facts support it? Menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth -are- a fact of life for women. Do women actually end up working less because of it? I have my own opinion on the subject based on what I've seen in the workplace, but would be interested in learning the facts.
    • reply
      by Audra on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:23 PM in reply to XY Chromosome
      Oops, XY Chromosome. You were okay until you said that pregnancy and childbirth were a fact of life for women. Only menstruation is - barring a health problem or menopause. Pregnancy and childbirth are a choice. Personally I think this policy of recent years allowing women "sick days" for their bad days during time is idiotic and unnecessary. Centuries of women have worked in spite of it without special privileges. If you're that badly affected, you have Dysmenorrhea and you need to see the Dr and fix it. It's treatable. It's 2011 now.
      • reply
        by what the on Jul 8, 2011 at 06:30 AM in reply to Audra
  • by BLAH on Jul 7, 2011 at 03:26 AM
    In some cases women are more productive than men such as in sewing factors,secretary work,better dish washers,and faster at hanging out and folding close,and they do a better job at cleaning cottages and motel rooms.Other than that I personally cant think of anything else.Oh I forgot they are much better at being a mother than a man is.Let the bashing begin!
    • reply
      by me on Jul 7, 2011 at 09:38 AM in reply to BLAH
      Am betting they are better at spelling, too (being more intelligent). CLOTHES, not close; FACTORIES, not factors.
      • reply
        by BLAH on Jul 8, 2011 at 06:26 PM in reply to me
        Well at least you agree with me!
  • by OK, then... on Jul 7, 2011 at 01:54 AM
    What is the reason that makes women less productive? Hockey, Football, Baseball, Basketball....why can't women produce stats like men in sports? And why are so many men hired for manual labor like construction?
    • reply
      by Sadly True on Jul 7, 2011 at 05:50 AM in reply to OK, then...
      Because I most women can physically do the work.
      • reply
        by sadly true on Jul 7, 2011 at 06:24 AM in reply to Sadly True
        Because most women can't physically do the work...stupid autocorrect...
        • reply
          by BLAH on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:12 AM in reply to sadly true
          HAHAHAHAHAHA!Thats funny.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jul 7, 2011 at 09:52 PM in reply to sadly true
          Wrong. I've known women that work in construction, roadwork, and more. There is not CAN'T about it. Most choose not to.
        • reply
          by BLAH on Jul 8, 2011 at 06:27 PM in reply to sadly true
          To anonymous@12:52,you are right!Holding a stop sign.
  • by Audra Location: SoCal on Jul 7, 2011 at 12:20 AM
    He must have thought he was in 1950. Brilliant move.

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