Should women work during pregnancy?

Forums B1. Study, Jobs, and Careers Should women work during pregnancy?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Shuchita Shuchita 8 months ago.

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  • #72549
    nupoor_n nupoor_n 
    Moderator
    #72549

    So yesterday, a incident came to light, where a girl was being reconsidered for a job role, because she was 3-4 years into marriage and she would plan a family. So the higher ups were sceptic about hiring the girl, because then she would take leaves etc.

    So what do you think, is it right on the part of the business to shy away from hiring prospective candidates who can get pregnant and cost time and money for the company(very logical statement) or it is sexist? Should women work during pregnancy? It would be easier to take the leave and a sabbatical for a year, and then join back. What do you guys think? Working women here, how did you manage it?

  • #72559
     Smita T 
    Participant
    #72559

    Such things will never end for women. First hiring managers shy away from hiring women who are “prospective brides” as they will marry off into different cities. Then they shy away from hiring “prospective” mothers, as they will pregnancy leave. This vicious cycle will never end.
    Women should work in pregnancy if their body allows it. If they have a smooth pregnancy, they should continue. Otherwise women should WFH or work part time and take a good amount of PAID maternity leave. At the same time , all corporates should give 9 \ 12 months of maternity leave to all women.

    • #72561
      nupoor_n nupoor_n 
      Moderator
      #72561

      Smita,
      Why should the companies be obliged to do that? Why should they give that many days of maternity leaves, when the paternity leaves are a maximum of few months? If we are talking about equality, we should ask for longer paternity leaves that a father can take anytime during first year of child-birth.

  • #72564
    Esha Esha 
    Participant
    #72564

    Nupoor- Feminism should not be about equal rights as man and woman can never be equasl. Fathers do not need a longer leave as they are not being pregnant and not breastfeeding or healing. I think companies should consider a married woman if she has potential. I mean if she works for 10 years in that company, giving her a month’s leave should be ok? |She will do better for the company in future. If you settle for someone of a lower standard that person will keep that for 11 years.
    But yes, a few women misuse the opportunity and take unnecessary leaves. There should be a doctor in the office who should check and give the verdicts. (obviously not being influenced by the bose)

  • #72566
     ID 
    Participant
    #72566

    Nupoor- There is other side to it as well. There are big organisations in the market promoting diversity in work as it has been found through various surveys that women do not switch jobs often and are more loyal to the organization. But yes, in small organisation/startups such things are bound to happen due to high cost and low profit margins. Even targets are dependent on resources and one person going on leave usally means hiring another and that doubles the cost. Every hiring in startups is done after giving a lot of thought so all these aspect are also considered.

    As far as equal maternity and paternity leaves are concerned, had men be able to reproduce, we could have talked about equal leaves. But since god has given this power to women only, they definately deserve longer maternity leaves- to take care of the child and themselves. If government do not form such laws, i dont think women would ever be able to reach where they are today. They would always have to choose between career and kids.

  • #72576
    Suchitra Suchitra 
    Participant
    #72576

    I had the luxury of being able to take a sabbatical during my pregnancy. I kind of took a break from being a working woman but not everyone can do that. Fathers are not obliged to get a year’s paternity leave because not every father wants to actively take part in childcare. For the father, it is a choice but not so for the mother. And maternity leave is more for the physical and emotional healing and well being of the child than of the mother. Canada provides a year’s paid maternity leave for mothers (as heard from my cousin) to ensure they are fit and productive when they return to work. And even if you take a sabbatical to take care of your child, there are questions when you return to the workforce such as how can we be sure you will not decide to have another child or move elsewhere for the sake of the child. How can we be sure your skills have not rusted (like they are iron or steel items :pan: ). And we have to take a cut in our salaries and sometimes even a lower designation than the one we held earlier so that we can get a job. It never is easy for us no matter what jobs we take. Companies make assumptions based on gender and use those to justify their decisions. My friend’s company has a in-house gynec who monitors the pregnant ladies and has regular discussions to discuss their health and they are provided WFH facility if their condition requires it. That is an encouraging sign, in my opinion.

    Be Positive and Keep Smiling! You are beautiful!!!

  • #72584
    ShikhaSS ShikhaSS 
    Moderator
    #72584

    During my internship, my boss’ mom said that I would have hired you for a permanent role but you might get married soon and I would have to train some other person. And, I was 20 at that time! That’s how screwed up some people are. :headbang: Women can work during pregnancy and they should. I do not know about other industries because I have always worked in women-dominated industries but I do not think it affects their performance at all.

    Maternity leaves are needed because it’s not just about feeding the baby, the body needs to heal and relax as well. It’s sad how in India pregnancy is treated almost as a disease and women are not respected at workplace once they get pregnant.

    Don't Worry, Be Sexy! ;)

  • #72605
    Shuchita Shuchita 
    Participant
    #72605

    I live in a land where maternity leaves do not exist. I faced a lot of subtle questions about starting a family when I interviewed though this is considered unethical. I was pregnant at the wrong time for my organization and they resented it. Did a lot of night shifts because I was new; pregnancy did not matter. Unfortunately got sick at the 7th month, had to take emergent leave and get a C-section with a premature baby in NICU. Went back to work 3 weeks after CS, then had to take unpaid leave after the baby came home (after 2 months), then resign.
    Most employers try to gauge if I am going to have a second child. (In my current job they now know I am done as they know enough about my medical issues).
    In the US, women work until the last day, even working 24 hours plus as doctors, and return to work 2 weeks later, using up all their vacation time. Most of us are forced to give up breastfeeding and even pumping early because of this.
    And we face discrimination all the time- atleast I did, in a very male-dominated field.

  • #72616
     Saloni_fizzy sparkles 
    Moderator
    #72616

    Yes women should work if their body allows them to and women in the past have worked.. these day maternity leaves are made compulsory for a certain duration and the bosses do understand that the women expecting need rest and care.. but I think these things should be valid only if you employee has a long-term relationship with you.. if an employee has joined for less than a year and then wants a big-time maternity leave, then it will be unpaid and that will totally depend upon the boss.. women do deserve all the care and they should be allowed to take leaves as and when wanted but usme na kabhi kabhi cheating ho jata haiii.. :headbang: its super controversial and we could never end up on one side.. but bosses have different thinking and employees have different thinking.. so none of the perspectives can be proven wrong :high5:

  • #72697
    Captain obvious Captain obvious 
    Participant
    #72697

    Great to hear so many perspectives on this topic.

    This thing about maternity-leave-financial-burden stems from the stereotype of mothers being unprofessional that seems far from what i have seen around me.

    By the way , most women in our country work in unorganized sector and places where the law is not applicable

    • #72700
      Captain obvious Captain obvious 
      Participant
      #72700

      There is also a debate among eligible sectors on whether the 26 week leave is too much

  • #72715
    Shuchita Shuchita 
    Participant
    #72715

    I think there are no easy answers here. All women should be entitled to maternity leave, but employers and other employees do suffer when women go on maternity leave. The easiest way for them to avoid this situation is by not hiring women.
    Some countries have been very successful at giving women maternity leave and letting them work- Iceland is a prime example. But in a country like India where there are so many unemployed people, it is never going to be easy for all employers to be that generous.
    As far as actually working during pregnancy is concerned, it is easier than working right after a baby is born. So I think the focus should be on maternity leave because both mom and baby need time to recover.

  • #72737
     GirlEngg 
    Participant
    #72737

    This is not a topic with an easy answer. Whether companies give paid maternity leave or not, its the women who suffer either way. I am in full support of paid maternity leave. Pregnancy is hard enough as it is without having the added burden of worrying about if your job is safe or not. Leaving your child behind at home soon after the birth is very distressing for a new mom. Forcing them to do so will only decrease their productivity. And its not fair to the mother or the child. We have come a long way from the days when women couldn’t work. Painting maternity leave in a bad light is taking a step back to those times. Companies should give both maternity and paternity leaves. Its their social responsibility. Do you think its fair to discriminate against women by cutting their salaries or denying them promotions because they had a child? Its not fair to make women choose between work and family. After all the hard work they put into getting to where they are in their careers, having to take step back just because they had a child is not fair. Maternity leave is not a vacation. Its essential for the physical and mental well being of the employee. If an employee suffers an accident and has to take time to recuperate, would you consider not giving them a promotion? Would you force them to come to work?
    And there are advantages for the company as well in giving paid maternity leave. The employees will be more loyal and grateful and will work harder. Doesn’t that benefit them in the long run? There are always people who will misuse things. That applies to everything. That is not a reason to stop doing the basic things that need to be done.
    Yes in India unemployment is a major issue. But the way to tackle it is to create more jobs. It cant be made a reason to deny maternity leave or to stop hiring women.

  • #72740
    nupoor_n nupoor_n 
    Moderator
    #72740

    I was going through the replies here. Most of us are in favour of paid maternity leave. If we treat maternity as a medical condition, why should it be paid. In our country, where instances of single parents are too less, and you are not doing any work or are productive, why do you want to charge for it? If our maids don’t come or get pregnant, do we think twice before hiring a new one? Or do we give them maternity leaves with full pay?
    I am in favour of taking a sabbatical instead of charging money from the organisation without giving any output. Those of you in favour of paid maternity leaves, would you pay your housemaid that while employing another at the same time?

  • #72805
    Shuchita Shuchita 
    Participant
    #72805

    Paid maternity leave would be a way to retain employees. You need more money when a child is born, and having no income can be stressful. The duration of 6 months is probably too much, but up to 2 months should be paid.
    More than the salary, it is the job uncertainty that you grapple with. Many a times women are forced to leave their jobs after a pregnancy and then look for work again.
    I agree most people would not pay their maids maternity leave. I can only say that I give paid vacation to my housekeeper in the US to retain her.
    All women have a right to have children, and the happiest countries in the world give paid maternity leave to make the process less stressful for working women. Working and having children should not be mutually excludive.

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