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Artcile: Are women without children discriminated against at work?

Posted by freya 
Artcile: Are women without children discriminated against at work?
April 03, 2018
Article: are women without children discriminated against at work?

This article starts off by interviewing women who have to deal with discrimination or bias at work. What I really appreciate is that the women interviewed state that everyone at work, regardless of family situation, all deserve the same work life balance, time off and other consideration instead of making it just about childless women. They also all seem very fair minded in offering solutions despite their bad experiences. Too many times we see someone granted a headline or voice and it is 100% self interest, especially in regards to moos.

There is also mention of the smoke break and how smokers are excused when others breaking are not granted the same consideration and are considered slackers. I've witnessed this but not in recent years, which hopefully means this mentality is starting to vanish in the workplace. Years ago, I walked into the smoke room with a pack of cigarettes and lit one but didn't smoke it simply so I could take a break and be left alone for 15 minutes twice a day. One place went so far as to have a manager follow me to the bathroom and ask me why I was in there for over 5 minutes. I gave him the gory details and that put an end to it.
Quote

"My manager went as far to say on one occasion that I was passed up for a formal promotion because my counterpart 'had a family to provide for,' and my teammates and manager would often ask for me to cover for them during holidays, back-to-school time, etc. as they had family priorities."
Victoria adds that if there was anything outside standard work hours, there was always the expectation (or perhaps hope) that she could cover it. Her direct manager would also come to her for same-day or next-day turnaround projects that he wouldn't be able to deliver on due to family obligations.

This had me screaming. I think I would have filed a civil suit for discrimination or at the least tried to. If not possible, I would have my stuff packed up and be screaming exactly what I thought of my soon-to-be former employer. All that work....for nothing. Just because she wasn't "wed and bred". I hope every single one of them gets dumped in the worst nursing home imaginable by their spawn.

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"It is better not to look like what you are; it is better to look like a bourgeois woman because then all the doors are open for you and then you can just go and make hell." - Marjane Satrapi
This article is a no-brainer. I honestly haven't seen discrimination against childless (to them) women--it's more like discrimination across the board against single people and people without kids. I work in the public sector and it's supposed to be a bastion of merit protection and "fairness" and I can cite so many example where "employee benefits" = benefit to you if you've bred. If you have not, be prepared to jump through hoops and make some threats before you get your benefits.

Example:

1. FMLA - when I used it to take care of a parent, I had to fill out paperwork and go three levels above my boss to get it. My boss hassled the shit out of me, all to take LEAVE WITHOUT PAY. During that same time, a co-irker's wife lost a clump at around 6 weeks---she barely missed a period, and my co-worker was allowed to work from home for two weeks with no accountability. I was not allowed to work from home and do a partial day while I took my parent to chemo, so I just told them to fuck themselves and took the whole day, leave without pay. My work sat there while I was gone of course, and later on they came around simply because I was the most dependable worker. What burned me the most about this particular assignment was that I was always dependable and I was a stellar performer. No matter, the Breeders will stick together and it usually gets themselves in trouble. I left this job, made a lateral move to get the Hell out and I was very glad.

2. vacation time and "coverage" I can understand using seniority to determine who gets vacation or first come first serve, or making people rotate. Whoever got Christmas off last year gets to work it now. What doesn't work is, he/she who has a family automatically gets the time off, each and every time. When I was younger people tried to stick me with the, you get to work it every year because you are in your 20's and WHEN you are in your 30's and have kyds, you'll get time off then. Nope.

3. I worked at one job where you had to travel a lot. Sometimes you'd get to work in the morning and you had to leave by the end of the day. It was written IN THE UNION AGREEMENT that if someone had a "family" they received 24 hours notice prior to traveling. I made a stink and fought to change this. I argued if there was a requirement to give notice, it should equally be given to ALL employees. Either make everyone travel at the last minute, or give everyone notice. Just because I didn't have a "family," it didn't mean I didn't have to make arrangements while I was gone. If anything, it was harder for me because I lived alone--a person with a spouse was in a better position than I was to travel at the last minute. I knew I was probably hurting my chances for advancement with respect to this issue. The policy was changed before I left. It was one of those deals that people thought I was nuts, but the irony was, there was an audit after I left and HQ HR got wind of it and told these people that I was in the right.

In some cases, you can make your flexibility work for you. If you stay late when everyone else is running home because OMG IT'S SNOWING and skool is getting out, you may be able to get some credit hours or build capital with the boss. But my advice is to not stay late and go to the extra mile unless you are being appreciated/compensated accordingly. Breeders who pull the child card every minute won't be sticking their necks out for anyone else, you can bet on that.

Oh and the 2nd piece of advice: If you must work for someone else, sock away as much money as you can. I put away 20% of my pre-tax income for years. (Which I could do because...you know why.)

Even better advice is to get a skill so you don't have to work for someone else, or so you can be the boss someday and reward people on the basis of merit, not whether their sex organs worked.

I'm pretty sick of the corporate/large company life and looking forward to getting the Hell out.
I can think of so many more examples in 30+ years. When DH and I first got together, he was assigned to a project that required him to be on the road for two years. He left every Monday and came back every Friday for the weekend. He worked for a CL Breeder-pleasing Director. When this project came along, this was her managerial style: round up everybody in the Directorate who didn't have kids and tell them to do it.

He made some extra money out of the deal due to the per diem stipend, but it's just a typical example of brain-dead Breeder-pleasing managers. They want to take the path of least resistance and they know Breeders are more likely to complain if they have to do extra on a job.

Actually, the worst managers I ever had were all CL Breeder pleasers. I worked for one guy who never married or had kids, despite wanting to. (He was very unattractive and had an unattractive personality. He made a lot of comments about women that I found offensive. He did date one woman and he paid for her kid's college. She dumped him and married someone else and sprogged again and she still hits him up for money to this day.) Anyway, This dude was really self-important. He never took vacation because he thought the place would fall apart without him. He told me one time that people without kids shouldn't take vacation during the Summer because parents "needed" the vacation time and people without kids did not. He also told me I "took too much vacation time." I told him if he wanted to have no life and actually lose his vacation every year, that was his choice but it wasn't mine and if he kept making an issue out of it I was going to file a formal complaint against him. He backed off of course because most mangers like this are spineless bullies.

Did I mention how much I want to get the Hell out? I'm going to be self-employed in my second career.
It begins right when you apply for a job... since it's illegal to ask whether you want kids, but the employer understandably doesn't want an employee who can skip work anytime, every woman under 50 is assumed to want kids as soon as she secures a job.
I wish "I'm childfree" could be included in the job contract.
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