As many of you are aware, I have entered the rat race of looking for a full-time opportunity in my field. My background has been in human resources, hiring, management, etc. I have recently gone on several interviews for key positions in my field, and the questions that I have found myself answering have been questions that haven’t been raised before in previous interviews. It is leading me to believe that employers are looking down on women with children, and may not be choosing to hire them for positions we are qualified for.
As a hiring manager in my previous position, I never asked questions about familial status, unless it was brought up by the employee first and it raised a point of concern. For the most part, I understood that the person interviewing for the position understood the work that would be required, as well as the hours and tasks. To ask about daycare and children and such wasn’t necessary.
I am currently finding that many employers are now asking these questions, and may base their hiring decisions on those who potentially may miss work because they have children. It is a trend that is becoming commonplace in the hiring process.
“I do ask questions about familial status, and I tend to hire those that don’t have young children, because they may miss work more than others, ” noted Donna King, an HR manager that is a colleague. “It’s sad to admit, but it does happen, not in my office but in others as well.”
As women, we already make, according to most studies, $.75 on the dollar that men make. Add that to the fact that we are the primary caretakers for our children as well as working mothers, and you have a deck of cards that could be stacked against us.
When applying for positions, if you are a working mom, try to apply to companies which communicate that they are family friendly companies. In 2008, Working Mother Magazine named the following companies the best companies to work for: Allstate, American Express, Accenture, Bank of America, Verizon, and Wachovia. For a complete list, click HERE.
Is it against the law to discriminate against a mother who has young children? Yes it is. It can be classified under sex discrimination which is a federal law. Employers must tread lightly or could be faced with a legal case placed against them.
With the unemployment rate at staggering numbers, employers have more choices and can be more selective of their candidates. Know the laws and if you are a working mom, do not let that be a mark against you. Know the facts and your rights, and continue moving towards your ideal position.