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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?

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