Elizabeth - posted on 01/02/2013 ( 26 moms have responded )
Ok moms. I have a bit of a pickle. And I can't find any professional women with any advice off the internet.
I want to go back to work. Staying at home is OK, but I really feel that I miss having a job, doing well, excelling and being on track to have a career. Our baby is now 14 months old and I have been itching to go back, especially with finances only getting harder with our financial situation, my husband lost his businesses right before we had baby and things being overly complex with only one income and only one car.
I got a degree, worked hard, volunteered, took difficult positions, built my achievements and have been told to have an overly impressive resume and am still only 25, but now since I haven't been working in a year (lost my full time employment while pregnant with baby 1, long story), it makes it more difficult to find employment.
A few days ago, hubby and I found out that we are expecting baby #2. We wanted to have a second child so our kids would be within 2 years apart and didn't expect to get pregnant right away. We're not upset over it and he's expecting a promotion in a few weeks which balances out our ongoing financial struggles (though finances will still be tight with an additional child, I'm sure), but it leaves me wondering: I got an interview for later this week (scheduled it the day before we found out about pregnancy) and the employer leaves me feeling that I will be discriminated against in a few months when I announce I will need maternity leave. I say this from experience. While we all know that it's "illegal" to discriminate against pregnant women, moms, etc, we all know it happens every day.
When I lost my full time job and I was only 3 months away from giving birth, I needed part time employment because we NEEDED the income. I actually had part time employers tell me things like "we want someone who isn't going to be leaving in a few months", "we want someone permanent", "we're not looking to hire someone in your 'condition'". These were $10 or less an hour jobs. Seriously. I have been infuriated. I was flat out told they didn't want to hire pregnant women. I could understand IF it were a career or something and I understand from an HR perspective they might not want to "waste" resources hiring women, but they could at least just not say it out loud. At least discriminate behind my back, not to my face.
On the phone with yet another male interviewer earlier this week (who happens to be a partner in this business), he was EXTREMELY impressed with my resume, etc. He asked me questions on the phone like "Are you married?" "Are you a mother?" "You're not planning on having more soon, are you?" "What does your husband do?" Needless to say, I know the law and it pisses me off to no end that women are STILL being asked these questions. I admit- I guess I did flat out lie without knowing when I responded "I have only one child and nothing that would prevent me from performing my job well." He then followed up with "Do you have child care? We have hired single parents in the past, so I know that family comes first....but just need to make sure."
Anyway, my first impression of this company is the guy is asking personal questions about kids, focusing on the FACT that I'm female. I'm sure he isn't asking men if they are dads. I know in a couple of months when it's obvious and I have to give 2 months notice or whatever for maternity, there may be problems since my relationship with this company started off this way.
After he asked me all the questions about being a woman, he FINALLY got around to the compensation and hours part. That was the FIRST question I asked him at the BEGINNING of the phone interview and then he proceeded to tell me about the company and ask me all the women questions before he said "oh and you wanted to know about compensation...well this is a new position and it's still being worked out, etc it's 8:30am to 5:30 pm....but would $12-15 (plus some commission potentially totaling $1000 extra a month max) an hour be doable for you?" Now, don't get me wrong. I know people are working below what they're worth. And my last employment for LESS work started at $16.50 an hour. But he was trying to impress me in the beginning telling me his employees (this is a head hunting company for major pharmaceuticals that needs social media marketing, research etc, what I specialize in), are all male (referring to them all by "him"), and make between $140,000 -$500,000 a year. Every time they hire a person for a major company, they get awarded $2000. I'd be making $500 per person hired, and they only anticipate me closing 2 deals a month. I'd be the one doing the very technical research to allow them to do their job as a way to avoid spending money to train them to do their job themselves. Not for nothing, but I have a proven track record for increasing a business' revenues from $240k a year to over $650k in a year directly due to my marketing know-how. I can't help but feel that he is low-balling me by asking me "mom" questions before disclosing the salary to offer me less. (sorry I guess this was a lot of venting)
So....am I angry for wrong reasons? Am I just mad because I, like everyone else in this economy isn't getting what they're worth or am I justified with treatment of women in the workplace? And what on earth should I do if I have a gut feeling that I'll just have a problem in a few months anyway? Won't it look even worse with employment gaps trying to get employment after baby #2 if I lose this job because they discriminate against women?