Through this week, newspapers and TV channels are carrying stories on women achievers from around the country. Women from different backgrounds, who have made a mark, while juggling various demands. Very heart warming and inspiring.
Put this in the context of a recent survey done by workplace provider Regus, which has found that globally far fewer corporates want to hire working moms. The survey, carried out on 10,000 companies, found that just 26% of UK companies and 28% of US employers plan to hire working mothers in 2011. And it’s not just these two countries. Globally, only 36% employers plan to hire moms in 2011, a significant drop from last year.
Clearly there is a strong bias against working mothers. Why is that? Because these companies, the survey says, believe working moms are less committed and flexible and not up to date with the skills required at work.
As a working mother, I find that unfair. Infuriating in fact. It’s a tough act to balance work and home requirements. Compared to my single colleagues I do feel hesitant to travel at short notice or long periods. But I do it unless there is an emergency or my husband is also travelling. Unless there is good reason, I do not refuse.
Instead of looking for reasons to not hire working moms, why don’t employers look at making it easier for moms to come back to work? Like providing for a day care facility close to office, or being more open to working from home when it’s possible?
And it’s not just in offices. I have sensed this bias at PTAs, even birthday parties. It used to bother me immensely but now I just don’t care when I get those – “Oh you work. No wonder your daughter – falls sick so often/forgot her raincoat/lost her book” – looks.
On the one hand we praise the leadership skills working mothers women display at work,their ability to deliver in the most stressful situations. But there is little thought given to making it easier for them to do their job. This report is honestly so depressing.