>Karen Brady restores sanity on the Apprentice


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For two weeks in a row, VN towers has been filled with the shrieking, egos, and pomposity of the new Apprentice candidates. Two weeks in a row we have found ourselves saying ‘thank goodness for Karen Brady’. The new intake are truly horrendous, seemingly deliberately so, and the programme has descended into X-Facor style farce.

Last week the boys went on a sausage fuelled testosterone fest around the streets of London. This week the girls decided to get catty.  The task was to sell a new beach product to a variety of big retailers. After days  of talking over each other, bickering, and poor decision making the girls portable book stand achieved a grand total of zero sales. When the sniping continued after they had been hauled back into the boardroom, their mentor Brady finally ran out of patience. She rightly informed the girls that they were representing women in business, and were, in short, letting the side down.

Women should not have to behave like men in business, or any other area, to achieve. Often the differing approach women take is their greatest asset. Sadly though, it is still the case that women need to prove themselves more than their male counterparts, in a variety of settings. It is not right that it is still so, but it is. Women like Brady have achieved what they have by combining hard work with natural ability. Unwittingly they became role models, and took that responsibility seriously. It must all seem for nothing when they witness the type of scenes shown in the programme last night.

The only female contestant to emerge with any credit last night was Stella English. She was asked to join the boys team, as one member was away dealing with family matter. She was also asked to be the team’s project manager. Her calm, firm approach won instant respect from her male colleagues, and stopped the over aggressive approach that had cost them the week before. Ultimately, she led the team to a very narrow victory.

However, the remaining women that stayed as a group on the Apprentice last night do little more than cause mass embarrassment, and confirm outdated and irrelevant stereotypes. They should be thoroughly ashamed.

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