More than a quarter of people are worried that being a parent would negatively affect their career prospects – most of them are millennials and a good proportion of that are women.

A report from talent acquisition software provider, Tribepad, also found that diversity data might be fuelling bias rather than combating it. 

The survey of 2011 people found that more than a quarter (25.2%) of UK adults were worried that being a parent, or being pregnant, would negatively impact their employment prospects. 

Men worry less

According to the data women and men still experience the impact of parenthood on their careers differently, with far fewer men worrying about its impact on their careers. 

Women were almost twice as likely (15.9%) to be concerned about the impact of parenthood on their careers than their male counterparts (8.5%), demonstrating Britain still has a long way to go to eliminate traditional biases.

Furthermore, the data shows that 35-44 year olds were most concerned about the impact that being a parent (35.6%) or being pregnant may have on their ability to secure a job or a promotion. 

They were also more than twice as likely as those from other age groups to believe that getting married would negatively impact their career prospects. This suggests that a generation of candidates are at risk of putting their careers ahead of their personal lives.

“We like to think that the world of work has evolved and that bias is being weeded out of recruitment,” said Tribepad CEO, Dean Sadler. “But these findings clearly show that there is a long way still to go before we eliminate some of the barriers to opportunity in this country”

The information was published as part of Tribepad’s Stop the Bias Report, which revealed that applicants are increasingly sceptical of the diversity data that is collected during the recruitment process. 

Only 23.5 percent of those questioned believed that their diversity data was being used to benefit their applications. This hints to the prospect that there is a culture of uncertainty among candidates, who fear that diversity data is fuelling bias rather than combating it.

“Thanks to the ubiquitous diversity, equity and inclusion forms that form part of modern applications, today’s candidates are as used to sharing personal information with potential employers as they are salary expectations and start dates,” Sadler added. 

“Despite the massive amounts of data companies are collecting, however, this process is seen as a tick box exercise by candidates who believe that vital data is being ignored entirely or actively used against them.”

Tribepad is one of a number of companies using software to provide anonymous applications, which is supposed to make removing unconscious bias easier. 

Feyaza Khan has been a journalist for more than 20 years in print and broadcast. Her special interests include neurodiversity in the workplace, tech, diversity, trauma and wellbeing.