Will Working Mothers Take Your Company to Court?

Source: Joan C. Williams and Amy J.C. Cuddy, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 90 no. 9, September 2012

… Historically, mothers have been reluctant to make waves, and women’s lack of progress toward the C-suite has been shrugged off as a by-product of personal decisions–a shift in priorities, the fire in the belly extinguished or tamped down. Women fall behind by choice, so the thinking goes. Recent research, however, shows that even when women maintain their professional ambitions, motherhood often triggers strong and blatant workplace bias.

Companies have begun paying a steep price for that bias. Working mothers have become more likely to sue their employers for discrimination, and juries increasingly inclined to award them large settlements if gender bias appears to have played a role in derailing their careers. A new field of employment law, family responsibilities discrimination, is taking off. ….

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