Helen Clark's advice to Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern has been quizzed about whether she will start a family.
MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

Jacinda Ardern has been quizzed about whether she will start a family.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has weighed in on the way in which the new leader of the Labour Party has been quizzed over whether having children will impact her career.

Asked by a user on Twitter what advice she had for Jacinda Ardern, Clark replied: "Ignore the sexist attack and get on with the job."

Earlier on Wednesday, Clark said it was "ridiculous" that women in leadership positions were still subjected to gender-based attacks. 

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Ardern had been in Labour's top job for less than 24 hours when she was asked twice about juggling a family with her career.

READ MORE: 
* Jacinda Ardern clashes with Mark Richardson on AM Show
* Ardern says career v children a dilemma many women face
* No, we don't need to know about Ardern's baby plans. Ever

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark told Ardern to "ignore the sexist attack".
LAWRENCE SMITH/STUFF

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark told Ardern to "ignore the sexist attack".

On Tuesday night, she was asked by The Project host Jesse Mulligan whether she felt she had to make a decision between continuing to progress her career or having babies.

She took the question in her stride, saying she didn't have a problem with being asked about weighing advancing her political career against having children.

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"I've been really open about that dilemma because I think probably lots of women face it," she said.

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"For me, my position is no different to the woman who works three jobs, or who might be in a position where they are juggling lots of responsibilities.

"You've just got to take every day as it comes and try and see if you can make the best of the lot you're given.

"So I'm not pre-determining any of that, just like most of the women out here who just make their lives work."

On Wednesday morning, she squared off against AM Show panellist Mark Richardson after he said that employers should know women's baby plans before hiring them.

Ardern said the comments were "totally unacceptable" in 2017.

Richardson had said: "I think this is a legitimate question for New Zealand, because she could be the Prime Minister running this country - she has our best interests at heart, so we need to know these things.

"If you are the employer of a company you need to know that type of thing from the woman you are employing ... the question is, is it OK for a PM to take maternity leave while in office?"

 - Stuff

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