Karren Brady supports stay-at-home mothers: 'It's not menial work and it should never be considered as that'

The British businesswoman emphasises the value in women who stay at home with their children

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The Independent Online

Karren Brady asserts that women who choose to stay at home with their children should not be “underestimated”.

The Apprentice host was made a Tory peer at the House of Lords today, entering the building with Lord Sugar. Her official title is now as Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge.

Brady holds the position of West Ham United vice chair and is also on the board of Philip Green’s Arcadia and Simon Cowell’s company, SyCo.

She also has two teenage children, daughter Sophia (after whose birth she famously only had three days off) and son Paolo.

She had five months leave from work in between selling Birmingham City FC in 2009 and becoming vice-chairman of West Ham football club in 2010 - a period that she found “unrewarding”.

“Because all the things you do at home are just taken for granted,” she said. “You'd make a lovely meal and the kids would come in and say, ‘Oh no, I'm having beans on toast.’ And I'd be like, ‘What do you mean? I've been cooking all day.’

“Or you'll tidy out the airing cupboard or hoover - all the things that are important work but have no value.”

She said more value needs to be given to women who decide not leave their children and go to work.

 “I think that's a great shame because actually being at home and dedicating yourself to your family is a wonderful thing and should never be underestimated,” she told The Telegraph.

“It's not something I chose for myself because I wanted to have a career and a family and I've had to make sacrifices for that. But it's not menial work and it should never be considered as that.”

The businesswoman - who became managing director of Birmingham City FC aged 23 - said that the issue of affordable childcare must be addressed.

“Something has to be done,“ she said. “Women will not go back to work unless they know their children are safe and looked after in a proper environment and that is affordable to them. It’s a really big issue.”