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Author Topic: Women less likely to be employed if married?
CitizenAim
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Today I was thinking about a business writing class I took about a year ago. It was probably the most enlightening class I took in college, mostly because the professor had a habit of bringing up controversial workplace topics.

One day, he commented that for all the women in the class that if they are married or engaged and are interviewing for a job, there is one thing they can do to significantly increase their chance of getting the job and then gestured at removing a finger from his ring finger.

His argument was that employers will assume that if a woman is engaged or married, her chance of having a child and needing to take maternity leave are higher.

Is this even legal? I don't even know where to look for statistics on this kind of thing because it sounds like a very under-the-table move on an employer's part.

Has anyone had any personal experience with this sort of issue?

I can't seem to find any statistics--maybe I'm just using the wrong terms when I search Google.

The best I could find was from a review on a book about affirmative action:

quote:
The situation for women scientists in the federal government was somewhat better than in education or industry, in that women were frequently hired without regard to marital status and (in some cases) without regard to age. Women were also more likely to be promoted, and to be given awards or other official recognition of their achievements.

Posts: 146 | From: Columbia, SC | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Nobody Important
Jingle Bell Hock


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Not legal (but just try to prove that's why you didn't get a particular job), but may cut both ways, also.

Some employers equate married with "stable,", "settled," etc. so a married woman might have an advantage with them. Not saying it's right or correct, just a fact of life that some people think this way.

Also not legal to discriminate on the basis of child-raising history or intentions (of course, it still happens). Some employers are going to look at a woman's left hand, estimate her age, and consider whether she is likely to have (more) children).

For example, an interviewer who tends to think this way might observe that I am married, but would probably think, "She's probably through having kids." (which I am)

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Midgard_Dragon
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Many of the reasons employers choose to not give a job are far from legal (or at the very least far from moral), so this doesn't surprise me one bit.

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Posts: 2455 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
martin-at-work
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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My wife went for a job interview when she was 36 weeks, and intending on taking 12 months maternity leave from her current job. Of course both interviewer and interviewee knew she wouldn't be getting the job, but it was more about using the opportunity to get a CV to the company and at least go throught the interview process.

She will almost certainly have a job there when she decides to return to the workforce.

Posts: 183 | From: Brisbane, Oz. | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
CitizenAim
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:

Some employers equate married with "stable,", "settled," etc. so a married woman might have an advantage with them. Not saying it's right or correct, just a fact of life that some people think this way.

Also not legal to discriminate on the basis of child-raising history or intentions (of course, it still happens). Some employers are going to look at a woman's left hand, estimate her age, and consider whether she is likely to have (more) children).

I figured a lot of not-so-legal things and that there isn't a whole lot you can do about it.

I just think it's a weird theory because you could argue for both sides and also say that employers may be less likely to hire unmarried people to avoid fraternization between coworkers (not something that would affect business nearly as much as a woman taking maternity leave, but something that could possibly cause inappropriate drama).

I've never witnessed this personally--maybe it's a big corporation kind of movement? I'm 21, female, and unmarried and got my current job with a very small business (5 employees) almost 2 years ago when I was 19. I'm not only the youngest employee (3 of them are 40 or older, the other is only a year or two older than me), I'm also the only female. I couldn't imagine any thought being put into things like this (which seem weird) when making the decision over whether to hire me. No one I work with, save a friend of mine, has ever expressed any concern over my marital status or anything even remotely pertaining to it.

It's hardly affected me this far along in my career so I don't know whether I should be worried if it will later on.

Posts: 146 | From: Columbia, SC | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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