A wee story on discrimination against wannabe working mothers…something close to my heart in recent years and experience.
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away (Brighton) during a time not too distant (<10 years) I was young and eager to get out there into the working world.
I always considered having a family though never quite knew when it would happen. Though I did think that even if I did that it wouldn’t effect my career prospects because it would be easy (enough) to create some kind of balance.
Turns out I started this journey at the age of 24…
Ahhh, it all seemed so simple back then. Reality now is somewhat different.
Ever since being pregnant with No 1 I’ve had a hell of a time to finding a job I felt I could have a happy balance. It seemed that every door I knocked on saw me and my kids and ran a mile.
As time has passed (both boys are now almost at school age) I realise that the more people I talk to, the more similar situations appear. Many mothers appear to be immediatley excluded as ‘viable candidates’ by recruiters or mothers have somewhat changed their goals and no longer want what they wanted prior to having kids.
The only options many of us mummies have is to go it alone or opt for unchallenging minimum wage work that doesn’t even cover childcare costs…what’s the point in that? You may as well take it easier and have the opportunity to see your kids grow up.
Some of us desperately try to hide our maternity gaps in our CVs. Others are blatantly stubborn and proud and mark out these lovely times in bold.
It’s a really shame that it happens. (And I could go on…) The disappointing part is that no one seems to talk about it. Many people see blatant discrimination happen, but choose to stay quiet. I’ve been mostly quiet - till now of course!
Here’s a snippet of one story that someone recently told me use to happen at a well known technology & consultancy company which related to mothers who stuck to their contract, but were unable to stay late due to obvious family reasons:
So these working mothers started to get bounced around from project to project. Some PMs refused to take them. Others would take them then insist they were replaced after a few weeks. Inevitably they gravitated towards the least interesting and rewarding work, regardless of their true ability. Everyone felt guilty about what was happening to them, but everyone went along with it because of the pressure we were under.