Post # 1
I just started a new job, which is a 6 month contract with the possibility of ongoing 6 month extensions. I just had a chat with my new boss in which it was established that I’ve just turned 29 and am getting married next summer. I feel really awkward now that I’ve screwed up my chances with this job because I could see him thinking “oh, she’ll be having babies soon”. Which isn’t true, but might be in the next five years! Have any other bees had any problems with their careers around this age or do you think I’m overthinking things? I want a good career but i also want to be in a stable situation with good maternity cover and a job to go back to at the end! It’s complicated because I’ve just started out in this field and 6 month contracts are fairly common. I guess I’m just looking for reassurance that it’s ok for my boss to know that I might be having kids at some point and that he won’t throw me to the curb next year! Why don’t men face this issue?!
Post # 2
DarlingClementine: Don’t worry! No point in stressing until it becomes an issue. I was hired when I was nearly 7 months pregnant (I know very lucky), but I could commit two years so despite being out for 6 weeks after two months of working, I have been working since. Don’t think becuase you mentioned getting married that it is a factor against you. In one sense it could be seen as you are committed and mature and that you are willing to do teamwork or that you “play well with others” or something similar to those lines. Sorry I’m doing a terrible job at trying to boost you up 🙁
My point is, don’t think because you’re getting married that it is counting against you.
Post # 3
DarlingClementine: I think this depends on where you live. I’m in the US and maternity leave here SUCKS. However, employers are not legally allowed to discriminate against women or pregnant women.
The only issue with the 6 month contracts (in the US) would be the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). You have to have been employed by your current employer for at least one year at the time you take your leave to be able to use it. This may not be an issue for you if you are not a US bee. But if you are, it’s something to consider. Most maternity leaves I’ve seen around here are only 6-8 weeks without the FMLA.
I would not worry about it currently. In my experiance, employers are looking for good employees and not too concerned about their child bearing years.
Post # 4
Yes, there’s a ton of unspoken/unconscious bias against young women, but companies also don’t want to open themselves up to lawsuits by firing (or not extending a contract to) a visibly pregnant woman. Sometimes you have to look for the silver lining, haha!
(Also, your boss doesn’t need to know you “might be having kids at some point”)
Post # 5
Hi bees, I forgot to say, thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and reply, it means a lot 🙂 You’re right, there’s no point worrying about it too much now, as we’re not planning on having kids for the next couple of years at least.
I’m in the UK so maternity leave is pretty good – it’s 39 weeks, with 6 weeks full pay and then about £140 per week for the next 33 weeks. I think you can take additional leave to make it up to 52 weeks, which is what most people i know did. Luckily, in my company they count your continous employment when working it out, and you have to be working there for at least 6 months to qualify, so people on rolling contracts are ok. Also if you have at least 5 months left on your contract when you return, you’re guaranteed your job at the end of maternity leave, which isn’t much use as a short-term contract worker, but good generally.
Thanks for your replies!