13 Nov

Women Uncomfortable Discussing Maternity Benefits – 5 Concerns New Research Reveals


New research on UK women’s attitudes to asking employers about maternity benefits by jobs website Glassdoor reveals that many are concerned to ask their employer for information both during the interview process and even when in a job.


After a new Glassdoor survey of 1,000 working women highlighted concerns at asking their employer for maternity benefits, we take a look at the 5 most interesting and concerning stats from the research in this blog post.


1. 78% of women would be afraid to ask about maternity benefits at interview

The research shows that 4 out of 5 women would put discussion about maternity benefits “high up there on the list of things they definitely would not ask about at interview stage.”

Such a statistic may not be too surprising, but should still concern given how important maternity benefits are for many employees. For many, whether or not a company has good maternity benefits for its employees could make the difference between wanting to work for that particular company or not and it is more than just a shame that most women feel too afraid to investigate this at the job interview stage.


2. Half of women worry employers would think they are already pregnant

The main reason given for the concern at asking about maternity benefits at the interview stage was that many women thought employers would jump to the conclusion that they were already pregnant. 51% said that they wouldn’t discuss maternity benefits at this stage for that reason, while 19% said they were worried they wouldn’t be taken seriously for the job if they asked about maternity packages in the interview.


3. Under a third of those surveyed said they were given maternity benefits info when starting

Only 32% of the 1,000 women surveyed said that they had received information about their company’s maternity benefits provision in their welcome or induction pack. That is far less than the figure of 47% who said that they wanted to see such information in an induction pack in the future.


4. A quarter of female staff would actually ask a colleague for maternity information

23% of respondents said that when the time came to ask about maternity benefits, they would ask a trusted colleague, perhaps someone who had already been off on maternity leave, rather than ask a manager. This lack of faith or fear to ask a manager is obviously concerning and stems from the fact that many women feel there is no “best time to ask.” 22% of women in work said that they would consciously wait until after their probation period to ask any questions about the maternity benefits provision.


5. Almost half of women would only ask about maternity benefits if actually pregnant

The survey found that 42% of female staff would only ever ask their employer about the maternity benefits for employees if they were actually pregnant.

There were several reasons given as to why they would wait until pregnant before asking with the most common being the feat that an employer would assume the employee was already pregnant, a reason given by 43% of those who would wait until pregnant before inquiring. Other reasons for avoiding asking until pregnant included concerns that it wouldn’t appear professional, concerns that it would seem like they were planning a pregnancy and, most worrying, concerns that it could put them at risk of redundancy.


The survey by Glassdoor which was conducted by OnePoll has certainly raisied discussion about how much information employers provide about maternity benefits and how easy such information is to find.

Glassdoor’s workplace expert Jon Ingham commented on the findings, saying: “A more honest and open attitude towards maternity benefits could improve the quality of candidates looking to work at an organisation. It may not be an intentional decision for employers to keep this information from female employees; however, forcing them to ask for it is clearly causing a great deal of distress for many women in the workplace.”


Photo credit goes to David Leo Veksler

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