Mother’s Day tends to bring out all the sap and not much substance about motherhood–especially in ads and marketing (such as the many emails I received this year from brands wishing me a “Happy Mother’s Day”!), but also in the media.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see this intelligent article about workplace discrimination against moms in Sunday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. Editorial board member Krista Ramsey explores how stereotypes and bias against mothers can hurt us in our jobs, whether it’s at the interview stage, during employment, or at promotion time.
Here’s my favorite quote from the article:
“The biggest problem is that employees often make assumptions, usually not driven by facts, about how employees will behave when they become caregivers,” said Cynthia Thomas Calvert, deputy director of the WorkLife Law Center. “There’s an assumption that once a woman becomes a mother, she won’t be as competent at her job or as committed or dependable – without the employee ever getting the chance to prove herself.”
Personally, I don’t think I’ve been held back because I’m a mom. If anything, it’s helped me gain new perspective as a marketer and a writer, enabling to do my job even better. I’ve also been able to connect with clients and coworkers who are parents (there’s always something to talk about when you have young kids as your material).
But I know I’m lucky, and that many moms have had to deal with discrimination. I’m sure I’ll encounter it at some point. What about you? Have you been hurt or helped by your “mom” status at work?