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Discrimination of Women in the Workplace

(16 Posts)
Judy54 Thu 04-Mar-21 14:34:02

An article in the Daily Mail ( yes I know it is not everyone's favourite newspaper) today talks about pregnant Women still being vilified, bullied and sacked from the workplace in the 21st century which is outrageous. I never came across such discrimination against pregnant Women or those with Children when I was working. In fact it was the opposite as a Women without Children I was expected to cover for my colleagues when their Children were sick, not permitted to take time off at Easter, Summer holidays or Christmas because those with Children were given priority. When my colleague was on Maternity leave they never brought anyone in to cover her role and I had to effectively do two jobs mine and hers. Any views on rights of Women with/without Children on the workplace?

Galaxy Thu 04-Mar-21 14:37:19

I know a number of women who's job was 're-organised' whilst they were in maternity leave, I have been in interviews where a question that was going to be asked would have discriminated against women with children.

Doodledog Thu 04-Mar-21 14:39:33

There is a similar discussion going on the 'should women always support other women's lifestyle choices' thread, Judy.

I have said a lot of what I think on that one, but I think that it equates to the rights of people with illnesses or other reasons for needing a bit of consideration at work. I don't think that leave should be prioritised for parents, but neither do I think that they should be refused it on principle, and I feel that fathers should take a much bigger share of childcare responsibilities than they currently do.

Eloethan Thu 04-Mar-21 16:12:45

It is apparently quite common for returning new mums to be allocated to different roles jobs or even to be made redundant. As with any other issues regarding discrimination, it is often too daunting for people to challenge these sorts of things.

eazybee Thu 04-Mar-21 16:24:34

I have never had any personal experience of women being discriminated against during pregnancy or in maternity leave or on return to their jobs; every effort was made to accommodate their requirements, sometimes at the expense of existing staff. This was in teaching.
In her early years in banking my daughter used to get very fed up with having to work repeatedly on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, through the school holidays etc to cover for staff with families, but now the rules have been tightened and there is a more equal spread.

Dee1012 Thu 04-Mar-21 16:27:06

This is really interesting because I've been in a similar situation to you Judy54 in the past.
On one memorable occasion, the role did involve working over the Christmas break and if all the staff did it, however unpalatable, it meant a few hours for everyone.
Two people refused because it was Christmas day / Boxing day and they had children (at this point one child was approx 8 months old and the other around 6 yrs).
Other staff offered to change days / hours to accommodate both people and they wouldn't budge.
I appreciate the difficulties of being a parent, I was a single parent who had to work but I also think that consideration and fairness needs to apply to all.
There are people who are carers etc and they are just as deserving of understanding.

Sparkling Thu 04-Mar-21 16:29:35

Judy 54, I left one job because of always covering for someone on maternity leave, I was doing two jobs. Small firms cannot afford to bring anyone else in for a start off. If I was employing someone I would not want to employ anyone that was starting a family, but you can’t discriminate or ask such questions at interview, but you can ask when seeking employment if you are expected to do two jobs for people on maternity leave. I had two children, but had five years off, going without a lot of things, holidays for example, to bond with my children, best thing I ever did.

MerylStreep Thu 04-Mar-21 16:33:29

Testing. Having problems posting.

MerylStreep Thu 04-Mar-21 16:33:58

Oh it’s working now. Ignore me.

Judy54 Thu 04-Mar-21 16:39:08

Thanks Doodledog I have taken a look at that thread and can see that there are similarities. My thread is about discrimination of Women in the workplace rather than should women always support other women's lifestyle choices. Deciding to have a child is usually a life style choice but sometimes a woman can become pregnant not through choice. Equally some Women decide not to have children or sadly are unable to have them. So yes it is about choices and I would support Women in those particular decisions. I just find it appalling that such discrimination still applies in some areas of the workplace to Women.

Doodledog Thu 04-Mar-21 17:09:27

No problem smile.

When my children were small all I really needed was notice if my childcare arrangement were going to be disrupted. I had cover from when I left the house in the morning until 6.30pm, which was usually enough, but occasionally meetings would be called without a finish time, and that made things really difficult. I didn't (and still don't) think it unreasonable for there to be a policy of agreeing that late meetings should have an end time unless the workplace is dealing with emergencies that won't wait. It used to make me twitch when someone suggested breaking for coffee half way through! If a meeting was likely to be going to run late, even a day's notice would have allowed me to make plans to extend my childcare.

When it comes to holidays, in my experience people without children are far less likely to want time off in August or at Easter, when everything is a lot busier and more expensive. They usually preferred to avoid other people's children.

Christmas is a time when most people want to be with family, whether or not they have children, so I don't think it's fair for parents to always take priority. Easter is less of an issue, as the religious side happens at the weekend, and the rest of the school holidays are not in high season, so I can't imagine lots of people would want to take leave then, but if they do, then again, I think it should be done on a rota system.

Basically, where policies can be put in place so that everyone can have a work/life balance, they should be. Occasional cover for things like sickness is a fact of life, but I can honestly say that I don't remember ever taking time off because of my children (my husband and I somehow managed to juggle things between us), but I regularly got 'dropped in it' by a (child-free) colleague who took sick leave every time she felt stressed, which was at least once a month - it's not a one-way street.

PaperMonster Thu 04-Mar-21 17:16:27

My situation was that I had a permanent part-time position and I made my salary up by doing hourly paid teaching - with contracts for a set number of weeks. Twelve years ago I was pregnant but had a miscarriage and was off work for two weeks. When I came back, my name had been removed from the register in the hourly-paid role. I spoke with the administrator dealing with registers who expressed surprise at me teaching as the course leader had removed me from my teaching responsibilities as a result of my miscarriage. In the next academic year, I was again offered teaching hours. When the course leader discovered I was pregnant I had the hours taken away. He said it was because he was under teaching hours so needed to teach those hours himself, but I was able to get a print out of his actual teaching hours which showed that he was in fact already over hours. Removal of this work obviously impacted upon my maternity pay.

Katie59 Thu 04-Mar-21 17:23:43

Yes I did cover for those off work and others covered for me, staffing was always tight regardless, it was perpetual, but I didn’t think anything about it. Those without children didn’t grumble in my memory, they seemed to be the higher qualified anyway, no problems returning after Maternity, everyone welcomed the extra help.

BlueSky Thu 04-Mar-21 18:00:23

Not now surely? But when I had my children it was as a different matter, you were expected to have a couple of years off until they were in school. That’s why it was almost impossible for women with young children to go up the career ladder. Different when I was working with a grown up family, women with children were entitled to time off at half term for instance, as a work life balance was by then recognised. At times the office was like the Marie Celeste!

silverlining48 Thu 04-Mar-21 18:55:24

I had children in the mid / late 70 s and worked for the local Education Authority. There was no maternity leave if pregnant and no job to go back to. We were expected to give notice and leave when about 7 months pregnant, bye bye.

It was hard to getting any sort of job as there was little child care other than the occasional child minder. It wasn’t usual then for parents to help on a regular basis and there were few nurseries. Many wanting part time got jobs shelf stacking in the evenings but my dh worked unreliable hours so I couldnt even do that. It was very hard managing on one wage.

sodapop Thu 04-Mar-21 19:16:42

Once my children were grown up I would work Christmas Day etc so those with young children could be with them. Hope those parents perpetuated that when their children were grown.