In a stunning reveal just before Superbowl 52, Kylie Jenner announced to the world that she was pregnant and had just welcomed a new baby girl into the world. The conversation immediately turned to how she managed to keep the fact she was expecting a child a secret. For working women around the world, I'm sure many thought, "If only I could be so lucky."
Pregnant women get discriminated against all the time. Especially, in the hiring process.
Getting hired is hard enough. Getting hired while visibly pregnant is even harder. Yes, it is illegal to discriminate against a pregnant woman. But, it's also difficult to prove. Meanwhile, the harsh reality is employers are focused on the bottom line. Hiring someone who will need to take an extended period of time off within their first year on the job often goes against their vision for the role. They are concerned about the ROI. They're hiring you because they need you 100 percent. So, what can you do if you are expecting (or, hoping to be), and in need of a new job? Well, here are a few tips:
1. Get clear on your specialty so you can sell it better. As a job seeker, you have to think of yourself as the aspirin to an employer's pain. The more you can prove you're the ideal person to get rid of their headaches and make their lives easier, the more likely they are to want to hire you. Even, if you will be out on maternity leave for a stretch. Your goal is to not only know your strengths, but more importantly, know how they will save or make the employer enough money to justify the cost of hiring you over the other candidates.
2. Look for employers who are openly "family-friendly." Thanks to sites like Glassdoor, it's never been easier for job seekers to research employers to get actual employees' reviews on the companies benefits - like maternity leave. If a company isn't accommodating to parents, you'll read about it. And, those offering great benefits for families are more likely to want to hire you. Check out "Best Places to Work" lists and other tools to help you identify them. You should create an interview bucket list of employers so your job search is targeted on the right companies.
3. Network with your "mommy" peers to get referred to opportunities. Your fellow working moms can not only act as your support network, they can also get you in front of hiring managers. Use your network to identify working moms at the companies on your interview bucket list. Seek out introductions and set up informational interviews to get their insights and advice on what it will take to get hired. Who knows? They may even be willing to refer you for the role. With the majority of jobs being gotten via referral today, having this can help you beat out the competition.
Don't let pregnancy scare you away from seeking a new, better job.
Today, we're in a tight labor market. Employers are struggling to find top talent. It's the ideal time to find an employer that respects and supports your decision to have a family. If you follow the tips above, the chances of finding that dream job will only get better.