Moms In The Workforce: Why Are We Discriminated Against?

Working Mom

On August 26th the nation will observe Women's Equality Day, in commemoration of the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

90 years?! That's how long American women have been granted the right to participate in the Democratic process -- 90 years!

Ironically, the 19th Amendment is also commonly referred to as the Woman Suffrage Amendment, and while our 90th voting rights anniversary should be recognized, women should honor it by taking a litmus test to evaluate where we stand in the discussion of equality as U.S. Citizens today.

Have women arrived? Are we liberated? Are we viewed and treated as equals? That's right, the answer to all 3 questions -- hell no!

Thanks to an @MomsRising *tweet*, I had an opportunity to view the recent @ABCNews segment, discussing the workplace disparity between women with children vs. women without children -- Salary Moms Earn Far Less.

Here are just a few key discussion points provided by ABC News and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner of MomsRising:

  • Women with kids are 44% less likely to be hired than women without kids
  • Women with kids are paid $11,000 less than women without kids
  • Women without children make .90 to a man's $1.00 vs. women with children make .73 to a man's $1.00
  • 1 in 4 U.S. children are living with food scarcity at home
  • The U.S. has a 1950's work policy structure and hasn't adapted policies, like other countries, to reflect the modern-day workforce
  • Women represent 50% of the labor force today

What's the deal?! Not only do American women still fight to earn the same wage as their male counterparts, we also have to endure Pay Discrimination because we're parents?!

Viewing the segment made me recall my own experience with "being a mom" workplace discrimination some 11+ years ago.

As an IT Consultant, my contract engagements are based on my ability to perform and produce results for my clients.

During a new engagement, I realized I was pregnant. For my family, this was welcomed news and I only thought to mention my pregnancy, when informed by my manager of being assigned to a "big" project. My goal was to be "pro-active" in planning when I'd be out-of-office on leave, and afford my employer time to prepare.

Needless to say, after informing my manager of my pregnancy, I was "laid-off" at the end of the week, being told the big project [everyone was so thrilled about] was indefinitely 'on hold'.

I began showing relatively early, and after a dozen or so rejections, gave-up and just conceded to not working until after my son arrived.

8 years later when I found myself expecting my daughter and looking for work, I intentionally didn't disclose my pregnancy. I waited until I was waist-deep in the project and popping buttons on my normal clothes before informing the company.

Sad that any mother would have to go to such extremes just for the right to provide a living and insurance coverage for her family.

There's so much work to be done to prevent situations like mine from happening to working moms.

This is America in the year 2010. Should I have to remind anyone motherhood is a blessing -- not a disability?

Do policymakers really need to be told our kids don't deserve penalties for having moms who haven chosen and/or must work to provide their needs?

I encourage everyone (men too!:-) to support the political advocacy efforts of MomsRising! Get involved in affecting change to empower American mothers.

It's long overdue -- Woman Suffrage MUST end.

When we "celebrate" Women's Equality Day it should be because in fact, women are equal. Until U.S. policies reflect this sentiment, "women's equality" must be a primary and relentless goal.


[Must read: Will Women Ever Achieve Equality? | Daily Kos by Kaili Joy Gray]

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