Women who 'might' have kids are less likely to get hired, says new study

The motherhood penalty starts before a woman even has kids—and this is completely unacceptable.

Women who 'might' have kids are less likely to get hired, says new study

We know the motherhood penalty is real and is costing working moms about $16,000 a year, but a new study shows something surprising (and infuriating): When it comes to part-time work the penalization comes before the pregnancy.

A large-scale study published last month in the journal Labour Economics found evidence of fertility discrimination in hiring practices in three different countries, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and found that married women who don't have kids were less likely to be hired for part-time roles than older, married women with older children because employers view these coupled but childfree women as pregnancy risks.


Basically, employers are less likely to hire a woman if they think she'll start a family soon.

The researchers found that when it comes to applying to part-time jobs, women who have two school-age children are the most likely to get an interview, while married women who don't have kids have the lowest callback rates.

While this study was focused on German-speaking countries, the problem certainly exists in English-speaking nations. A 2018 survey of managers in the UK found 28% have or would discount a woman applying for a job because she was recently engaged or married and they could imagine her starting a family soon.

Stateside, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that, officially, employers are not allowed to discriminate against people because they may become pregnant, or intend to become pregnant, but unofficially some employers do admit to not hiring women because of the perceived risk of pregnancy, just like the employers in the recent European study.

When family-friendly jobs won't hire those who might start a family

The researchers behind that study of part-time job applicants were surprised to see that potential fertility put candidates at such a disadvantage even when applying in a category noted for being family-friendly. Part-time jobs certainly do appeal to parents and would-be parents, but they also appeal to people who don't have kids.

According to researchers at Perdue University, more and more of today's workers are "desperately seeking sustainable careers" through part-time arrangements and reduced workloads that still allow them to move forward in their career while not spending 40 or more hours at their desk.

Jordan Jayson is among the growing number of professionals taking pay cuts in exchange for lighter loads, and for her parenting was the motivation. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Jayson—a digital media professional in New York City—explains that she volunteered to take a 20% pay cut if she could work four days a week after coming back from maternity leave.

Unfortunately for Jayson, while her pay was reduced by 20% her workload wasn't. "My work ethic didn't change. I often took phone calls or meetings on the 'fifth day' if something important was going on," she explains.

Part-time women produce full-time results

Jayson's attitude is a common one. Perdue's researchers say that most of the time employees in roles like hers get as much done as a full time worker, and a report by multinational firm Ernst & Young concluded "women in flexible roles (part-time, contract or casual) appear to be the most productive members of our workforce."

Women like Jayson are super hard workers, sometimes even to their own detriment. Another recent study found moms who work part-time in flexible roles end up working an average of 20 minutes of unpaid overtime per week.

It's a bad deal for moms like Jayson, but a good sign for employers. These women are productive and loyal. It's just too bad employers are passing up the opportunity to hire hard-working, efficient part-time employees because they may, possibly, one day have a baby.

We know the motherhood penalty is real, and now we know that the pre-motherhood penalty is real, too. It's gender and age discrimination, which is usually illegal and always wrong.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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