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Study shows mothers continue to face gender discrimination

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2021 | Employment Law

Many women in Michigan and elsewhere have dreamed of being mothers for a good portion of their lives. When the blessed day came that they were able bring their children into the world, they may have felt overjoyed and, possibly, shocked at what they were capable of. Unfortunately, the capabilities of mothers are often overlooked or dismissed when it comes to the workforce as gender discrimination continues to keep many mothers from reaching their full potential.

Recent studies show that mothers continue to face unfair treatment in the workplace, and sadly, some researchers believe that the pandemic may only reinforce the unfairness rather than alleviate it. Over the past year, many mothers found themselves having to leave the workforce entirely, take time off or reduce their hours so that they could take care of their children who were at home rather than in school. As a result, some speculate that employers may view these acts as a lack of commitment to their jobs.

Additional details of the study, which utilized fictitious job applications to gauge discrimination, show the following information:

  • Applications that appeared to be from women without children received a higher callback rate than applications from women who appeared to have children.
  • The discrepancy in callback rate existed in both low-wage service jobs and professional or managerial jobs.
  • Employers may be less likely to hire mothers in these categories because service workers are typically expected to work at any time and managerial workers are expected to work all the time, and employers question that ability in mothers.
  • Callbacks for applicants perceived as mothers also decreased when job requirements such as travel, time sensitivity and collaboration were involved.

It is important to remember that gender discrimination is illegal at the hiring stage of employment. If Michigan workers believe that they were not hired due to being pregnant, for being a mother or for some other form of gender bias, it may be worthwhile to consider their legal options. Missing out on important employment opportunities should not happen simply due to motherhood or one’s gender.