Maternal Bias: A Silent Gender Bias in Jobs Impacting Women

Did you know that once an engagement ring is on your finger, maternal bias starts to creep in? That’s right—engaged women, along with married, pregnant, and women with children often face maternal bias. Gender bias may be impacting your ability to advance your career. Research shows that only 86 women are promoted for every 100 men who are, and maternal bias may be one reason why. Maternal bias is one of many gender biases in jobs, and it’s holding women back. So, let’s look at what it is and what you can do.

What is Maternal Bias?

Maternal bias, like any type of bias, is an unconscious decision. It’s not a rational decision, but one that comes from our subconscious. Both men and women in the workplace can hold this bias. Both can let it affect the way they treat women or handle career advancement for women. In the workplace, maternal bias is at play whenever someone makes a decision that’s unfavourable to a woman because of her maternal status. It’s the belief that a woman who is engaged, married, pregnant, or has kids would be uninterested in advancing their career because they would rather focus on their family. It’s also the belief that women with kids are less capable. This is demonstrated in a 2018 study that showed women were more likely to be “downshifted” (responsibilities decreased) after having children, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Click on the video below to learn more about what maternal bias is and how it shows up in the workplace.

How Gender Bias in Jobs Impacts Career Advancement

Maternal bias will keep women back from career advancement opportunities. Practically, it can look like any of these scenarios:
  • Promotion is not an option for you.
  • Management is not telling you about career advancement options and promotions.
  • Not having conversations about career advancement.
Gender bias may be the reason why these scenarios take place.

What Women Can do About Gender Bias in Jobs?

If you believe that this problem is keeping you from advancing your career, it’s time to act. Taking action is the best advice for women looking to advance their career! It starts by approaching your boss and starting a conversation about career advancement. This is especially true for women who are pregnant or have children. The reality is that despite legislation like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, there are still many instances of discrimination and maternal, pregnancy, and other gender bias in jobs. Here’s how to approach your boss:
  • Start a conversation about career advancement opportunities.
  • Document your accomplishments to earn a promotion! Keeping track of your achievements shows them that you are capable of career advancement opportunities.
  • Bring a plan with you to discuss with your boss—I have a 7-step My Promotion Plan that can help you do just this.
It’s so important to advocate for yourself. If you don’t, who will? If you believe maternal bias is holding you back from the career you want, take a step out and talk to your boss today. If you want to learn more about unconscious biases at work and how to break out of them to achieve your career goals, contact me today!

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Mary is a previous COO of a multi-million dollar company that she helped to start with no experience in the industry. As a leader, her greatest joy is seeing others reach a higher potential than they ever dreamed possible.

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Did you know that once an engagement ring is on your finger, maternal bias starts to creep in? That’s right—engaged women, along with married, pregnant, and women with children often face maternal bias. Gender bias may be impacting your ability to advance your career. Research shows that only 86 women are promoted for every 100 men who are, and maternal bias may be one reason why. Maternal bias is one of many gender biases in jobs, and it’s holding women back. So, let’s look at what it is and what you can do.

What is Maternal Bias?

Maternal bias, like any type of bias, is an unconscious decision. It’s not a rational decision, but one that comes from our subconscious. Both men and women in the workplace can hold this bias. Both can let it affect the way they treat women or handle career advancement for women. In the workplace, maternal bias is at play whenever someone makes a decision that’s unfavourable to a woman because of her maternal status. It’s the belief that a woman who is engaged, married, pregnant, or has kids would be uninterested in advancing their career because they would rather focus on their family. It’s also the belief that women with kids are less capable. This is demonstrated in a 2018 study that showed women were more likely to be “downshifted” (responsibilities decreased) after having children, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Click on the video below to learn more about what maternal bias is and how it shows up in the workplace.

How Gender Bias in Jobs Impacts Career Advancement

Maternal bias will keep women back from career advancement opportunities. Practically, it can look like any of these scenarios:
  • Promotion is not an option for you.
  • Management is not telling you about career advancement options and promotions.
  • Not having conversations about career advancement.
Gender bias may be the reason why these scenarios take place.

What Women Can do About Gender Bias in Jobs?

If you believe that this problem is keeping you from advancing your career, it’s time to act. Taking action is the best advice for women looking to advance their career! It starts by approaching your boss and starting a conversation about career advancement. This is especially true for women who are pregnant or have children. The reality is that despite legislation like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, there are still many instances of discrimination and maternal, pregnancy, and other gender bias in jobs. Here’s how to approach your boss:
  • Start a conversation about career advancement opportunities.
  • Document your accomplishments to earn a promotion! Keeping track of your achievements shows them that you are capable of career advancement opportunities.
  • Bring a plan with you to discuss with your boss—I have a 7-step My Promotion Plan that can help you do just this.
It’s so important to advocate for yourself. If you don’t, who will? If you believe maternal bias is holding you back from the career you want, take a step out and talk to your boss today. If you want to learn more about unconscious biases at work and how to break out of them to achieve your career goals, contact me today!

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Share:

Related Posts

The Top 10 Mistakes Women Make That are Sabotaging Their Advancement

In my mini e-book, you will learn how to avoid these mistakes and what to do instead to skyrocket your career now! 

Recent Posts

Categories

Mary is a previous COO of a multi-million dollar company that she helped to start with no experience in the industry. As a leader, her greatest joy is seeing others reach a higher potential than they ever dreamed possible.

More About Mary

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