Picture this – you are being interviewed for a fab new job – would you ask about your maternity leave and rights in your cosy wee chat with your potential new employer?
I have to say I sure as hell wouldn’t – but why not?
I am a cynic; I think that if I asked this question the wheels in the potential employer’s heads would be turning…
And we know what they would be thinking don’t we?
They would be thinking:
“This candidate is going to have a baby in the next few years, and so they aren’t committed to my company…I am not hiring them no matter how good they are.”
Am I being unfair to those doing the interviewing?
I have interviewed a good number of people, and I am sorry to say that part of the reason for me thinking this, is that this thought has crossed my mind as a potential employer.
I don’t think I would have acted on it, but if the thought sneaked into my head before I had my kids, perhaps it would for other employers too? I used to interview for positions at one of the big four accountancy firms, and am pretty sure that others in the company would have at least thought as I did.
Asking a question like this is perfectly natural – so why should it make a difference to the opinion of the interviewing company? Do you think it would with you?
In a recent survey from Quality Solicitors where 1000 women who either had kids, or were likely to have them in the future, were asked about their knowledge and experience of maternity in the workplace.
Within this survey, only 15% of women asked about the maternity policy of a company in job interviews – so perhaps I am not the only one that feels the question can prejudice an employer?
The survey has some other interesting results too, with nearly a quarter of women saying they would turn down a job because the maternity package wasn’t good enough. Clearly, employers need to get their maternity policies in order so they don’t miss out on the skilled women in the workforce.
The infographic below gives some information on some of the key points within the survey:
You can see, there are a wide range of expectations surrounding maternity in the UK workplace.
What is your experience? Would you ask in an interview about maternity leave? Or do you think, like me, this might scupper your chances of getting the job? Let me know below, and share the infographic too, lets raise awareness of what women are entitled to!