I started my job the same week I found out I was pregnant. Both changes were welcome but putting them together made me anxious. I was unsure how my new co-workers and managers would react to my news. I think once I assured everyone I was coming back after my maternity leave, they were fine. I'm lucky to work for a family-friendly company.
But I know not everyone has that same experience. A recent study shows that childless woman are more likely to get hired than moms and with an $11,000 bigger salary than their equally qualified counterparts with children, according to an article in BusinessWeek.
As if we need anything else working against us. Women already make less than men in the work place, now mothers make even less? The study even says the gap between mothers and non-mothers is larger than the one between woman and men.
There are possible explanations for some of this. Some women might take off time to be with their young children leading to less experience when they get back into the workforce. Some might not take more demanding jobs because they need flexibility.
But none of that explains why the study showed mothers who were equally qualified as childless applicants were hired less. It also doesn't explain why men with children were not penalized for being fathers.
Could it be possible that men with children are perceived as responsible while potential employers think mothers won't be as committed? I don't work 12 hours a day anymore and I do need a few more days off here and there. None of that makes me less of an employee. I work harder when I am there to prove that mothers are valuable in the workplace and so I can leave the office each day and focus on my child when I get home.
It is seems unreal that in a world where most households need two incomes to survive we as mothers are being discriminated against despite our efforts to contribute.
So what do you think? Have you ever been turned down for a job because you are a mother? Do you feel like you make less money because you are a mother?