In a recent newsletter I received from Business Chicks, the CEO, Olivia Ruello, posed a question about whether or not a pregnant woman should disclose she is pregnant when interviewing for her dream job.
Great question but seriously, we haven’t come very far if we’re still having to consider this BUT sadly we are. This is real for so many women. It’s a really tough ethical decision to disclose or not to disclose when really all you want to be doing is working at whatever you do best. That’s what annoys me the most – why should we even have to choose? Why should it make a difference?
I believe Olivia is right when she talks about employers needing to back women as much as they can and when you find the dream candidate, grab them. The problem though, is that often the employers, and sadly even some of the HR practitioners, are short sighted and let their bias stand in the way of recruiting great people. There are still too many employers stuck in outdated modes of recruitment and thinking.
Then there was a recent article about women needing to take off their engagement rings in a job interview as they looked ‘high maintenance’ which was truly ridiculous and offensive. I wonder though, if that article was really just done to get a rise out of people – which it did, of course but it still just continues to put women down and suggest they be treated differently.
Of course the main problem is that with unconscious bias people don’t recognise it (hence the unconscious!) and can’t see that they are doing anything wrong so statements like – “it’s just the way we do things around here” are all too familiar in the workplace.
I believe we all have a role here to challenge outdated thinking and work practices wherever we are. We need to educate employers about unconscious bias and all HR professionals need to be embracing change and diversity, to value talent and not be afraid to have a conversation with their employers about this. So come on, speak up, look at the long term advantages and recruit the best people - whoever they are.
Has this happened to you? Tell me your experiences