Two steps back

Family-friendly policies enacted to help women actually hurting them in some cases

Darren Hauck/The New York Times

Across Europe and Latin America, working women are feeling negative effects of “family-friendly” policies that were enacted to help them, but have yielded some unintended consequences.  According to Sarah Jane Glynn at the Center for American Progress, “for employers, it becomes much easier to justify discrimination” by using generous child-care and maternity leave to close women out of the workforce and discriminate against working mothers. Currently, a policy in Spain grants part-time employment to parents of young children, resulting in fewer full-time jobs. In Chile, working women get child-care in exchange for lower pay. Companies seem to view working mothers, or any women who may plan on getting pregnant, as liabilities, and continually opt out of promoting them or providing them with development training, studies have shown. The U.S. has fewer federal laws that impact working parents than other countries. The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 has flaws that results in some companies not investing in the long-term careers of women. One key to parental leave, Glynn point out, is that “it has to be something that humans do, as opposed to something that women do.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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