Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Lord Sugar's not so sweet over women

Luisa Zissman and Leah Totton are in the final of The Apprentice
Luisa Zissman and Leah Totton are in the final of The Apprentice
Luisa Zissman and Leah Totton face off over a chess board
Leah Totton (left) and Luisa Zissman, the two final candidates in this year's The Apprentice.
Zoey Harkness, Leah Totton and Joanne Hamilton, pictured on their arrival for the Foyle and Londonderry College annual dinner in the City Hotel. Picture by Maurice Thompson.
Neil Clough, Leah Totton, Alex Mills in last night's programme
(left to right) Leah Totton, Francesca MacDuff and Luisa Zissman as they takes part in the latest task for the BBC1 programme, The Apprentice
For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only. BBC undated handout photo of Leah Totton, one of the contestants in this year's BBC programme, The Apprentice. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday April 30, 2013. See PA story SHOWBIZ Apprentice. Photo credit should read: Jim Marks/BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
Myles Mordaunt, Natalie Panayi and Leah Totton during the most recent episode of The Apprentice
Leah in tonight's final and Lord Sugar

With the final of BBC1's The Apprentice tonight, I'm sure that most of us hope that Derry's Leah Totton does well.

She has a good chance to win, because entrepreneurs like to surround themselves with people who make them look good. A young, glamorous doctor will undoubtedly appeal to Lord Sugar.

Lord Sugar has, of course, been accused of having an "outdated" attitude towards women.

Regarding the 1970s law, which states that it is illegal for women to be asked at interview whether they plan to have children, Sugar is quoted as saying: "These laws are counter-productive for women, that's the bottom line. You're not allowed to ask, so it's easy – just don't employ them. It will get harder to get a job as a woman." (The Guardian, July 1, 2008.)

Critics have described Sugar as "out-of-touch" and his work ethic as "a model of bad management in the UK. Negative, bullying and narrow-minded ... [Sugar] rules by fear". (Daily Mail, June 13, 2007.)

The question has to be asked: for all his wealth, is Lord Sugar really happy? He certainly seems to associate happiness with money. Is it ever possible to have great wealth and be happy? Are these not opposing goals?

JOHN O'CONNELL

Derry

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