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4 Obstacles Women Still Face in the Workplace

Hamsa Ramesha | HRPeople

March 22, 2010


Congratulations on your new baby! Now if you’re looking forward to some extra paid time off, think again. Companies are not required to provide paid maternity leave, and most don’t. So women who do get pregnant face a financial disadvantage in addition to many other possibly negative factors like putting their career on hold.

While there are a host of pregnancy discrimination legalities in favor of women, the fact remains that getting pregnant is like getting punished when it comes to work. Six weeks of unpaid maternity leave and 12 weeks of additional unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 are great starting points, but more should be done to support new working mothers.

The solution?

It’s time for employers to loosen up. Companies should incorporate flexible work options such as telecommuting and non-standard business hours. It’s these kinds of methods that work for successful companies like Google!

Workplace flexibility is a defining factor for job seekers as both women and men make it a priority over career advancement. Even law firms are getting into this movement: Allen & Overy announced that it is letting people become part-time partners — meaning mothers can work 50 hours a week instead of the 80 hours lawyers are notorious for. Hey, it’s a start!