It is no secret that our culture is rather unkind — to put it mildly — to women who aspire to excel in their careers while also experiencing the joys of motherhood. Why do you think we seem to never hear the end of that persistent question, “Can women have it all?” Perhaps we need to keep asking the question because we know that our workplace environments often look down upon women. We know that management doubts their worth as employees if they express a desire to have children (or if they already have children).
Not whether or not they had the right partner or whether they’ll be a good parent — but whether their job will be secure once they have children. As Glamour reminds us, that shouldn’t be too surprising considering America’s pathetic attempt at paid parental leave and paid maternity leave, as well as the discrimination faced by pregnant employees.
Even though 92 percent of women reported being equally committed to their careers post-baby, and 96 percent reported being excited to get back to work after giving birth, one in five women were not considered for promotions or new opportunities, one in five felt they had less job security once managers were informed of their pregnancy, and one in four felt judged by supervisors or fellow employees.
Over one-third of the respondents experienced discrimination, and 43 percent said it felt as though their supervisor now perceived them as less committed.
This important survey proves the hostile, often dehumanizing work environments experienced by parents — especially by working mothers or pregnant employees. If discrimination is not manifesting itself through firings, missed promotions, or little to no maternity leave, it is through interactions with coworkers.
Modern Family Index suggests sensitivity training for human resources staff to better accommodate working parents, as well as enforcing punishments for employers who discriminate. Moreover, they recommend at-work childcare and more flexible work hours.
We couldn’t agree more. Support the mamas!