London Lite Thursday, 15 October 2009 13 12 months is too long for women who want top jobs high-flying City woman who wants maternity leave CUt A HIGH-FLYING female financier has warned that women are wrecking their chances of making it to the top by taking their full 12 months mater- nity leave. Mother-of-three Nichola Pease, deputy chairman of City firm JO Hambro Capital Management, said excessive red tape aimed at protect- ing women in the workplace was preventing them from seizing the top jobs in business and finance. The 48-year-old multi-millionaire told a Commons hearing on sexism in the City: I think we have got too long maternity leave... and (related) sex discrimination cases that run into tens of millions are ridiculous. British women are entitled to up to 52 weeks off when they have a baby. In the US, maternity leave is just 12 weeks while some Far Eastern countries do not provide any. Ms Pease said: We have got to be realistic and make sure the protec- tion around women does not end up backfiring. The fund manager, who with her hedge fund boss husband Crispin Odey is said to be worth more than 200m, said women were not being held back by old-fash- ioned sexism but often because they felt top jobs were not compatible with family life. She told MPs on the Commons Treasury Select Committee: I would love to give everyone flexible working practices but there are certain jobs which have unsocial hours. Those are commercial realities. Ms Pease urged the com- mittee not to recom- mend legislation that could saddle businesses with quotas of women. She said: I think there is already a lot of positive discrimination for women. But Labour MP Emily Thornberry said: I am absolutely horrified to hear such an old-fashioned view. The rights that Labour have given women are extremely important, especially for women who do not have a 10m cushion to sit on. The committee also heard that the global financial crisis would not have been as severe had there been more women in top City jobs, who tend to be more cautious than men who are more aggressive risk-takers. by kevin widdop Warning: millionaire Nichola Pease In the money: hedge fund boss husband Crispin Odey Sound&Lite 1 (1) Fifa 10 (EA Sports) 2 (-) Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (Codemasters) 3 (4) Need For Speed: Shift (EA Games) 4 (2) Professor Layton And Pandoras Box (Nintendo) 5 (5) Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo) 6 (3) Halo 3: ODST (Microsoft) 7 (12) Gran Turismo (Sony) 8 (11) Wii Fit (Nintendo) 9 (9) Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) 10 (6) Guitar Hero 5 (Redoctane) Source: UK Chart Track poST yoUR ibLoG ReviewS AT thisislondon.co.uk/lite TOP 10 GAMES Gamesreviews Mario & Sonic at the olyMpic Winter GaMeS (Wii) MARio, Sonic and pals return to the sports field with predictably fun results. Events including snowboarding, bobsleighing and speed skating make fun use of Wii accessories. (Nintendo, 39.99) Brutal leGend (XBoX 360) JACk BlACk stars in this fantasy slasher set in a tongue-in-cheek world modelled around heavy metal music. There are some great cameos and a rocking soundtrack. (EA, 49.99) alistair foster index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html