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Are Working Moms Making Women Less Attractive Hires?

There's hardly a more exciting time in someone's life than when they discover they are willfully pregnant. Most mamas-to-be want to scream it from the mountain tops but there's usually one ear they'd like to shield — their boss's. Many women try to hide their expectant status until it is blatantly obvious to co-workers and their higher-ups because they don't know how their news will be received. Before she can give a due date, employers' minds are ticking: Who can replace her? Will she come back? Do we even need her? While those are all valid questions, it is often up to the childbearing woman to make those decisions, which is why some are wondering if motherhood is making women more unemployable.

The Vogue UK Editor Alexandra Shulman has sparked a debate that will leave many moms angry and others nodding their heads in agreement. Worried about Britain's maternity leave laws, she believes new mothers may be doing themselves a disservice if they take a year-long leave and then expect to return to the same benefits as before but with lower professional expectations. British designer Anya Hindmarch supports her view. She quips:

If we are not careful (and I speak as a mother and an employer), maternity leave and benefits will become too biased towards the mother and not considerate enough for the employer... In which case, it can start to work against women as it becomes too complicated and expensive to employ them. To me, it shouts of shooting ourselves in the foot.

Do you believe that longer maternity leave and flexible work schedules are working against women in the workplace?

Image Source: Getty
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filmgirl81 filmgirl81 6 years
When my mother had me, she was only allowed 6 weeks leave, and it wasn't fun. There's this thing called breastfeeding, and take home pay often doesn't cover babysitting costs. I hate being a woman. I really want kids, but I know that it will be an uphill battle.
ladydaytrippin ladydaytrippin 6 years
I believe it's in the mothers best interest to stay home as long as possible. I only got three months off, but would have been allowed up to six months without pay. I could not afford the latter, but I was glad that option was thier for me. Worrying about careers and employers comes in second place after you have children. Some employers do not want to give you the time you need to regroup, recouperate, and adjust to being a mother. I understand that companies are always looking at the bottom line, but your child is not, all they need are parents that do thier best to take proper care of them and love them to pieces. In the end, your family comes first.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 6 years
In short, es. My boss claimed to be excited for me when I announced that I was pregnant at 14 weeks, but the following day he was straight to logistics and didn't stop until I actually left for my maternity leave. I'm entitled to 12 weeks paid or unpaid depending on how much leave time is accumulated and he immediately wanted to know how much I planned to take, when my last day would be, etc. His boss made several comments about how inconvenient my pregnancy was.
syako syako 6 years
This is what happens when the government starts dictating how private companies run their businesses. If the fed requires a company to give women 1 year of maternity leave, of course there will be disgruntled employers out there. On the other hand, if a company chooses on it own that they want to have great maternity leave benefits for women, then I'm sure they would be less hesitant about granting those benefits. It seems pretty cut and dry to me.
jenni5 jenni5 6 years
I think once you have a baby you already have 1 strike against you. I think it definitely works against us to have longer maternity leave and flexible work schedules but I wouldn't not want those benefits. Either way, employers won't look at you the same. I found I had to work much harder to prove myself after I had kids and worked a flexible schedule (2 days working from home)....and I still got laid off!!!
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