An article published by the All-China Women’s Federation describes findings from a recent survey suggesting that married women without kids and single women “past the optimal marrying age” are “likely to encounter discrimination in job-seeking.” Employers, it seems, assume that women without kids will have them eventually and that women’s presumed childbearing will cost the company beaucoup bucks in medical and leave benefits.
As a woman, this really irks me. And as a CHILDFREE woman, this really super irks me. Seems to me that if child-rearing benefits were given AND taken equally by men and women, and if work/life policies were actually centered around work/life rather than work/children – so that childfree people had as much opportunity for time away from work to pursue their passions as those who choose parenthood as their passionate pursuit – perhaps we’d all be better off. But I digress. Here’s the article:
Childless Married Women Face Employment Discrimination
July 24, 2013 Editor: Sun XiNearly 90 percent of people polled in a recent survey believe that childless married women and single women past the optimal marrying age are most likely to encounter difficulties finding a job.
The survey, conducted by Xiaoxiang Morning News and Hunanxiang.com, received 623 valid responses.
Statistics show that 52.7 percent and 28.25 percent of people polled believe that married women who have not yet had a child and single women past the optimal age for marriage are likely to encounter discrimination in job-seeking.
Li Wen (alias), from central China’s Hunan Province, can attest to this. Out of the 133 companies she sent her resume to, 26 clearly or implicitly stated that they would not hire her because she had just gotten married and was likely to soon have a baby, thus necessitating maternity leave.
“I went to one interview where everything seemed to go well, but the unit head turned me down,” she said. “Later, someone from their human resources department told me that the unit head thought I might be preparing to have a baby soon and that the job was too demanding for a woman like me.”
“If a new employee gets pregnant soon after being hired, the company must then spend more money hiring someone to replace her,” explained Liang Xiaoling, the general manager of a human resource management company in Changsha, Hunan Province.
The survey shows that these two excuses － employee’s marriage and child-bearing status and that the job is demanding or pays little － have become the top two reasons used by employers to turn down childless married women or single older women.
Have you ever felt that an employer’s presumption that you might have kids one day affected their decisions about your employment?