Even Without Kids, Women Can Bear The Burden Of The "Motherhood Penalty" At Work
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Even Without Kids, Women Can Bear The Burden Of The "Motherhood Penalty" At Work

A recent study found that women who don’t have kids face large hurdles when searching for part-time work, specifically married women over the age of 30. Married women without children also have to deal with the “motherhood penalty,” instances when employees fear that a woman is or will get pregnant impacting her availability within a company.

The study looked at female-dominated jobs in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland where marital status is asked for on job applications.

“Our conjecture is that employers consider childless, but married women, at particular ‘risk’ of becoming pregnant,” researchers said.

The study found that women with older children were more likely to get follow up calls on their job applications. The report also saw drastic differences in callback rates of single and married women looking for jobs, noting that married women are seen to have a higher pregnancy risk by employers.

There were not many differences in callback rates between childless, married women applying to full-time positions and those vying for part-time jobs.

“Apparently, employers rely on full-time applicants having their family-related issues dealt with,” researchers said.

Researchers said there was a notable 14-point gap in which married women without children and married women with older children received calls for interviews, highlighting a sign of discriminatory practices.

“Our results for part-time jobs illustrates that employers are not fully immune to considering potential or realized motherhood in female applicants, even in female-friendly occupations,” researchers said.

In addition, there’s also other issues such as the gender pay gap and the fight for childcare benefits in the workplace, just to name a few. Hopefully there will be more studies and even more changes implemented for women moving forward.