Discriminatory Practices as a Result of Potential Maternity

Some of our members feel that when it comes to employers' salary structures, they are unfairly disadvantaged in terms of their pay or role offered, purely as a result of their being women and 'potentially' requiring maternity leave at some point.

Some maintain that they have even been directly informed by employers (or interviewers) that their being of child-bearing age means that they either can't be offered the original post advertised, or that their responsibilities / salary would have to be adjusted lower, in order to compensate for any possible future absences.

One member stated that 'all job roles should be salaried according to skills and tasks required, not the person's gender'. Currently, it seems that gender and its 'potential' role in child-rearing is still a key factor in a person's career trajectory.

Why the contribution is important

It points to underlying prejudices around gender roles which can and do lead to on-going discriminatory (and potentially illegal) practices - and this affects women who may not even plan on, or be able to have, children.

The assumption that all women of a certain age will be getting pregnant and requiring maternity leave puts the onus on women applying for jobs, promotions, or negotiating higher salaries, to have to:

a) somehow look into the future and make assurances to employers about possible child-rearing scenarios (questions that would rarely, if ever, asked of their male counterparts);

b) discuss sometimes very personal / intimate health issues which they may not feel comfortable revealing, or

c) deal with unspoken prejudices / misconceptions that seem to be affecting their careers, and yet can't be tackled head-on as they're often denied when challenged.

by FTWW on April 09, 2018 at 10:55AM

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