A staggering one in eight employers are reluctant to hire women who may go on to have children, a new survey has found.
Of 800 HR decision-makers polled by YouGov for the Young Women's Trust, 12 percent said they were unsure about hiring women who may become mothers in the future.
Unsurprisingly, more male HR decision-makers (14%) said they hold this sexist and illegal view than their female counterparts (10%).
Still, the number of male HR decision-makers holding this view – which contravenes the Equality Act 2010 – has fallen from 16% in 2018, and from 18% in 2019. The number of female HR decision-makers who said they would discriminate on this basis has remained level at 10% during the same period.
Joe Levenson of the Young Women's Trust, a charity which helps young women aged 18-30 to get into work, especially those on low or no pay, said that it's "encouraging" that the number of bosses discriminating against women on this basis is falling.
However, Levenson added: "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.”
Dr Jill Miller of the CIPD, the professional association for people who work in HR, said that Human Resources decision-makers should be "leading the way" in eliminating this kind of discrimination.
“Employers need to ensure that anyone in the organisation responsible for recruitment or promotion decisions has the appropriate training on the law as well as fair and inclusive practices, and that the expectation is set that discrimination will not be tolerated,” she told People Management.
The Young Women's Trust's report on discrimination against potential new mothers follows the charity's recent research into workplace sexism, which found that more female bosses than male bosses believe it exists in their workplace.
Of course, anecdotally we all know that women can face certain disadvantages in the workplace. This can take the form of being forced to wear uncomfortable, constricting clothing, having to bat away unwanted sexual advances, or even being fired for taking maternity leave.
Not being hired on the basis of sex is another prehistoric obstacle to add to the list, and one that must be stamped out, for good, whatever profession you work in.