Study: Pregnant women feel unwelcome at their workplace

As per researchers, many working women feel they are being pushed out of their jobs when they become pregnant and on the other hand new fathers often get a boost in their careers.

The research was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, confirmed that pregnant women tend to feel unwelcome in their work environment and there are gender biases at the workplace.

The researchers from Florida State University found that women feel pushed out of their workplace and eventually choose to opt out. This is the first study to claim this.

“We found that pregnant women experienced decreased career encouragement in the workplace only after they disclosed they were pregnant,” said Paustian-Underdahl, Assistant Professor of Management.

“Once they told managers and co-workers, we saw a decline in career encouragement for women but an increase in career encouragement for men,” she added.

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She studied two long-standing theories on why mothers are more likely to leave the workforce than fathers. One theory simply suggests that pregnant women feel “pushed out” of the workplace. And the second one indicates that pregnant women decide to leave their jobs keeping personal goals above their careers.

Known as the “motherhood penalty” and “fatherhood premium”, researchers have attributed both to old cultural stereotypes that favour fathers as breadwinners and women as caregivers.

The research also offers new ideas on how to treat pregnant women.

“Primarily, workplaces should not reduce their career-related encouragement toward expectant mothers. In addition, managers should provide both fathers and mothers with social and career support to help them attain their work and family goals,” said Paustian-Underdahl.

(With inputs from ANI)

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