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WORK

MOTHERHOOD PENALTY

When a woman speaks about her kids at a workplace, other people often tend to assign her traits like “scattered” or “unprofessional”. When a man does the same thing, he is seen as a caring and loving person. 

Research suggests that women who are clearly pregnant are considered to be less competent, less reliable, less authoritative, less rational, and more sensitive than childless women.

The “Motherhood Penalty” phenomenon in sociology describes a situation when mothers are disadvantaged against childless women and even more against working men in the labour market. Working mothers are systematically disadvantaged in compensation. They are considered less capable and less passionate about work, and so have a smaller probability of being accepted to a new job and smaller chances for being promoted in their current one. The research confirms that being a mother leads to discrimination in the labour market.

At the same time, multiple research studies on effectiveness at work show the exact opposite. Mothers, mainly those with two or more children, are often highly efficient employees and managers.

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WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?

Imagine you are a woman, and you do not want to have kids, or at least not for now. Despite this your boss may think all the time that you may get pregnant anyway and does not appoint you to a certain project, does not count on promoting you, or a company does not even hire you. 

It is clear that unjust treatment with pregnant women or mothers, in the end, also affects their husbands and families. Discrimination affects us all and only if we perceive the discrimination more carefully, can we make a big change.

In the end, we all profit from equality. Read more here.