When InHerSight delved into what sort of questions were inappropriate to ask at job interviews, they found that questions regarding race, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, and parental status are all actually illegal, according to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws. However, this hasn’t stopped companies from asking some very inappropriate questions to people and at least 25 percent of women have been asked some of these.
While discrimination against getting married does exist, pregnancy discrimination is even worse
“They’d been asked whether they have children and 14% whether they plan on having kids. Twenty-eight percent were asked if they are married, and 12% if they plan on getting married,” said 25 percent of the women respondents in a survey conducted by InHerSight. This data is definitely worrisome since so many women revealed that they were rejected after the interview when they revealed that they plan on getting married in the near future and even when they said they wanted to plan to have children soon. No woman should have to wonder whether getting married or having children will affect her career in a negative way, but this data has proved that women do in fact have something to worry about. While discrimination against getting married does exist, pregnancy discrimination is even worse for women because it is very much a reality for a majority of women. There are have been many stories of women who have been rejected outright or have even been laid off while pregnant or after coming back from maternity leave.
“We deny women the chance to talk about other areas of success—namely professional ones”
One of the reasons why is that when it comes to relationships and children, people have always put women ahead of the line in these sectors, thanks to “chick-lit”, “chick-flicks” and women’s magazines. “There’s nothing wrong with conversations about love, relationships, and motherhood. Your family, your lovers are, after all, a part of your life. Women are and should be proud of these accomplishments. But by leaning on these personal details in the workforce, especially during the interview process, we deny women the chance to talk about other areas of success—namely professional ones,” said Fast Company. While some companies are overtly discriminating against women, the other truth is that how interviews are being used to assess people and on what grounds are people being hired. Employers need to focus on the talents and achievements of potential employees, not their marital status or the number of children they are going to have because this information is not going to help the company get the work done.
Image credit: Northeastern University