Women who may become pregnant face reluctancy from employers to be hired

A ‘significant minority’ or one in eight employers said they would be reluctant to hire a woman who they believe could become pregnant, despite it being illegal to make recruitment decisions on this basis.

This survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Young Women’s Trust. It found that 12 per cent of HR decision makers hold this view.

It also found that males in HR (14 per cent) were slightly more likely to let this opinion have an effect on their decision making than females (10 per cent).

However, the number of male individuals in HR who have been hesitant to employ a woman who may become pregnant has dropped over the past couple of years. It was 16 per cent in 2018, and 18 per cent in 2017.

The amount of female employers who think like this have stayed around the 10 per cent mark.

As well as one in seven (14 per cent) saying that the company they work for takes in to account if the woman is pregnant or has children when handing out promotion, which is also against the law. Still, this number is a progression when compared to 22 per cent saying the same in 2018.

Joe Levenson, director of communications, Young Women Trust said:

It is encouraging that fewer bosses than previously say they would be reluctant to employ women who may go on to have children. However, there can be no room for complacency as ‘dinosaur bosses’ are still found in many workplaces, unfairly overlooking women when it comes to recruitment and promotion and breaking the law in the process.

Jamie Mackenzie, director of marketing at Sodexo Engage said:

If businesses really want to get ahead, attract the best talent, and unlock new ways of thinking, they should seriously consider ways to eliminate these biases, not just in the recruitment process, but in every part of the business.

Interested in implementing inclusivity and diversity within the workplace? We recommend Unconscious Bias in the Workplace