Employment Discrimination Against Women Without Kids

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 Xi

Nearly 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. [foodmate.net]

Nearly 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. [foodmate.net]

Nearly 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.

Continue to the source article

Childfree Feedback

Have you ever felt that an employer’s presumption that you might have kids one day affected their decisions about your employment?

6 Responses to Employment Discrimination Against Women Without Kids

  1. voodoodarling August 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    I spent 6 and a half years living in China and I can confirm that this is true, sadly. Love your blog, happy international CF day!

    voodoodarling.wordpress.com

    • Lance August 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      Thanks voodoo! We love New Orleans. Voodoo makes me think of NOLA. OK, I’m done.

      🙂

  2. renee s July 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    There’s definitely discrimination even here in the U.S. It’s not as blatant due to laws prohibiting discrimination against pregnancy and familial status, but anyone who thinks it isn’t out there is completely naive.

    When interviewing for my current job (top executive legal position at a publically traded company), I stressed my lack of desire for children as a positive quality that would enhance my candidacy. Otherwise, especially in the family friendly midwest, they might have only seen a 35 year old woman, applying for a powerful and necessary position, but heard only the tick, tock of that biological clock we’re all supposed to have and assumed I wasn’t to be counted on in the long-term. Just another way the childfree (women) get screwed in the workplace.

    Being honest, as a member of my company’s management, I would have similar concerns about hiring a woman of childbearing years into a critical role. After all, most women do become mothers. It’s not a good business decision to spend the time and money to hire and train someone, only to have them take leave 6 months to a year later to procreate. The sad thing is, legally we’re not allowed to factor that concern in, even though we’d never be expected to hire somone who told us that, within a year of being hired, they were going to take 3 months or more off for a vacation.

    Hopefully I won’t be interviewing again until I way past my presumed baby-making years, but we have to ask how we are going to fix the problem for childfree women who are currently facing discrimination.

    • cathie August 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

      shit what company do you work for that let women take 6months to a year off to have a baby? I have never heard of that. Isn’t it usually 3 months?

      • Katarína Dedinská October 4, 2017 at 3:27 am #

        This is amazing. I mean really. I live in central Europe and mothers usually stays home with their kids FOR THREE YEARS

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