When Ujëbardha Bekolli came to me to discuss paternity leave and employment equality, I was on board to publish the guest post on this topic. While maternity leave receives a lot of attention, let’s look more at paternity leave and its benefits too. Here is Ujëbardha with more on the topic.
Many women report that during the interview they receive questions about their marital status and if they want to have a family in the near future. One of the main reasons women are less likely to get hired is their ability to give birth. Yes, that one thing that should be celebrated is what is doing us harm.
The gender inequality in employment is a clear issue. Most women over 25 are judged unjustly when they apply for a job. There is always this one thing that keeps bothering employees. Maternity leave. The fact that women get 26 weeks of maternity leave and fathers are only granted with two shows a great deal of sexism towards both parties.
Sexism: On Workplace Discrimination Today
The first one is the continuous endorsement of the idea that mothers are the primary caregivers. There is no denying that after a woman has given birth to a baby they need to be by their side, but that’s not all. The second one is the idea that fathers should financially care for the new baby. That alienates completely the fact that both parents have equal responsibilities to their baby. This creates an ugly climate that continues like a domino effect.
The United States is one of the few developed countries that doesn’t offer paid maternity leave. This gives businesses the gap to regulate this issue however they like. They try to save the cost of paying a woman while on maternity leave and hire a man, even if women perform better on tests and interviews. This then creates a less enjoyable workplace.
By dictating women and men the amount of time they can dedicate to their newborn, with maternity leave policies, the job market pushes an agenda of inequality and predispositions.
In an article about paternity leave, Josh Levs describes his personal story about how he was mistreated and discriminated against in his workplace after he took the time to care about his family. Men around the world suffer from this epidemic as societies expect them to not be sensitive. On the other hand, women have it even harder. As they approach motherhood, giving birth is not their only worry. After they return from maternity break, 1 in 20 women encounters a cut in pay or bonus.
This and many other issues have solutions that the government and companies could start to implement. When the government implements laws that contribute to a more just workplace, companies will follow. This will then follow by a more family-friendly workplace and an open communication between employees and employers.
By doing that you’re not only creating a healthier and productive workplace, but you’re also attracting better employees.
Seeing that discrimination in the workplace is a huge issue and that a more just and friendly working environment is more beneficial to all the parties involved, many companies have started practicing better regulations towards their employees. But this is not enough. If this is happening in a country like the U.S., imagine what goes on in less developed countries.
A fairer workplace means a more productive workplace. By working together to change the continuous unequal work conditions we contribute to healthier families and better jobs for everyone. Perhaps paternity leave is part of a workable solution.
About Ujëbardha Bekolli
Ujëbardha Bekolli is a writer for SahmJobs, which is a job portal designed to bring together stay at home moms and recruiters. The platform also brings helpful articles in the Blog section regarding mothers who want to return to the workforce.