As women joined the American work force, they fit into certain occupations, which are referred to as “pink collar” jobs. As time progressed, women began to branch out and be accepted into other occupational fields. The work that has been available for women has expanded in variety over the years. While the work opportunities have grown for women, there has still been much inequality between men and women in the workplace.
Women tend to make less money than men and can be perceived as weak, which affects the types of jobs that women will be hired for. Women can also experience sexual harassment within the workplace. The type of discrimination that I feel women face the most (at least when it is applicable to them) is pregnancy discrimination.
One of the ways that it seems to be the most prevalent is also the hardest to prove. It is extremely hard for a woman to get hired if she is already pregnant. Honesty should be the best policy when searching for jobs, but in fact, it is unwise for a woman to disclose the fact that she is pregnant (assuming that she is not undoubtedly pregnant based on appearances). Maternity leave is a major reason that pregnant women are so unappealing to employers going through the hiring process. A pregnant woman is seen as a gamble; the employer puts time into training her and then has to find someone to replace her temporarily-plus she is seen as a flight risk because she may decide to quit her job in order to be a stay at home mother. Hiring pregnant women can also be a financial burden for a company that pays for maternity leave; not only is the employer paying the woman to be out for six(ish) weeks, but they are also paying for someone to be there in her place.
It seems to me that it is extremely unfair to not hire a woman based on the fact that she is pregnant. A man could never face that type of discrimination because they cannot become pregnant. Employers should begin to look at pregnant women in a different light. It is becoming more and more common for women to become single mothers or to be in a household where both parents need to work in order to support the family, which means that pregnant women should be seen as an investment. A pregnant woman obviously has a child to support, which means she has a very solid motive for keeping her job and wanting to work hard to earn raises/promotions. She needs stability as much as a company needs stable employees. A mother is likely to stay in a job as long as she can continue to support her family, whereas an employee who has no children is less likely to remain loyal to a company because they don’t have to worry about how their employment patterns affect the lives of people who depend on them to have an income.