You know how working moms are always taking time off because their kid is sick or there's a school play or something, and that's why they're just unreliable workers who can't be trusted with real responsibility. Yeah, that's bullshit — and there's data to prove it.
Victoria Pynchon muses at Forbes on the kinds of discrimination moms face from employers who get mad every time they need to pick up the kids — but the most striking part of her piece comes at the end, when she talks to work/life balance expert Dina Bakst. Bakst points out data showing that workers' absences from non-kid-related reasons, like injury, are usually much higher than child-care absences, across a variety of different industries. For instance, in the field of "management, business, and financial operations," absences due to "illness or injury" were twice as high as those due to "child care problems; other family or personal obligations; civic or military duty; and maternity or paternity leave." In "healthcare support occupations," a traditionally female-dominated field, illness/injury days out were nearly three times as common as kid-and-family related ones.
Bottom line: mommy time is a lot less common than simply calling in sick. So why is it so often cited as a reason why companies simply can't hire more women — or accommodate working moms? Pynchon says she'll be addressing this soon. Our guess, though, is confirmation bias: employers just assume moms will be shitty workers, and every time they need time off for any reason, their preconceived notions are confirmed. Now it's time to go about changing that assumption.
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