You would think in 2014 we’d have it sussed regarding mothers in the workplace but a recent survey from UK lawfirm Slater & Gordon makes for an infuriating read. 6 out of 10 mothers believe their careers were derailed after becoming pregnant with them being denied opportunities. These women felt that when they returned to their roles they had to work to prove themselves all over again.
Nearly 50% said taking less maternity leave meant they were perceived as taking the job more seriously, and a depressing 60% felt that as soon as they announced their pregnancy their career options were limited.
While employers are not to discriminate when hiring, it is illegal according to all the employment laws, 500 managers admitted issues of childcare and maternity leave would make them hire a young man over a woman of the same age. About 40% of managers weren’t keen on hiring mothers in general. A third of managers believed women who returned to the office after having a child weren’t as good as there jobs anymore.
In an article in a Guardian exploring the survey results, Bim Adewunmi spoke to a woman who worked in IT, told her boss whe was pregnant, and then sadly miscarried. When she returned to work she was fired. “The feeling was that she would get pregnant again and therefore would not make a good employee,” writes Adewunmi. The woman herself said, “Their attitude changed entirely. One guy just stopped talking to me.” Thankfully an out-of-court settlement followed but her faith in humanity was no doubt destoyed.
In fact the only encouraging ray of sunshine from the whole study is the fact 30% of women think having a baby has made them better at their jobs. We here at Image.ie agree because time management, multi-tasking and everlasting patience are qualities every manager should want in an employee. That number deserves to reach stratospheric heights.
What do you think? Have you ever felt your job was threatened because of maternity leave? Let us know in the comments or chime in on Twitter @IMAGE_daily
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun