Consider “motherhood” prospects in recruitment and promotion decisions? A quarter of business owners say they do!

Almost one in seven employers say they would be reluctant to recruit a woman they thought might later have children, according to research, that shows an alarming level of everyday maternity discrimination in the labour market.

The survey heard that of 800 professionals with power over HR decision-making, a significant number would think twice about hiring women in their 20s and 30s who might have children in the future – even though it is illegal to make recruitment decisions on these grounds.

The findings follow earlier research, which found that almost 40% of young mums had been illegally asked in job interviews about how being a mother would affect their ability to work.

A quarter of respondents in the latest survey indicated that their organisation takes account of whether a woman is pregnant or has young children during decisions about career progression or promotion.

The previous research from the trust correlates with these new findings. Its poll of 319 mothers aged between 16 and 24 previously revealed that a quarter experienced discrimination when their employer found out they were pregnant.

In a separate House of Commons select committee debate, a panel of expert witnesses has put forward evidence on women’s experiences of sexism and sexual harassment in universities, workplaces, public spaces and online, showing that society has a long way to go before it eradicates discrimination in women of childbearing age!

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