The Brutal Truth…

The Brutal Truth About Being Childless at Work.

Not sure if I agree with every point in this article, but I do agree with a lot of it. Specifically, where I work, it seems like all the young parents get flexibility with their schedules (working from home or modified hours) and no other segment of employees is allowed this flexibility with any regularity.

I even made the point to one of our HR Business Partners a few weeks ago – even though the company has a “Flexible Work Schedule” policy, it’s really damn tough to get a flexible modified schedule approved. It has to go all the way up the ladder to one’s functional VP for approval. For me, that’s two approvals. For some, that’s four or five. A lot of freaking red tape just because someone wants to spend Fridays at home. And it seems like the only people who ever end up getting their requests approved are those with babies or young children at home. Really unfair to the rest of us who work just as hard and are supposedly equals according to this policy. The policy reads one way and plays out an entirely different way in reality.

The policy doesn’t even state you need a reason for requesting a modified schedule – so technically one should be able to request one for no reason other than they want one. But good luck getting that approved. I love the company I work for and am generally very happy with my job, but this is one area that definitely irritates me. It seems like they don’t care if you have elderly parents, a long commute, a sick spouse. But if you have a child, by all means, come and go as you please.

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16 Responses to The Brutal Truth…

  1. Shame on them! I’ve totally been screwed over b/c I didn’t have kids–strangely common. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mamajo23 says:

    Infertility is cruel for so many reasons- this is yet another. Those who desperately want a child are constantly left on the outside of the ‘parent club’ and it is like a knife digging deeper. Add the stress of all the treatments you have to somehow fit in it can be overwhelming. I have always been so careful with my employees to treat those with and without kids the same. Because it is the right thing to do and you never know their story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right – being on the outside hurts, when you so badly want a child. I wouldn’t even necessarily want to work from home or come and go, I just want a healthy baby!!! The work will sort itself out but right now it’s aggravating to see this going on. Just another perk for them when they already have the ultimate perk – a living child.
      I hope that if it ever comes to me needing treatments and monitoring, etc. that they will be flexible for that since it’s medical. My gut tells me they would be flexible but it just hasn’t come to that yet.
      I’m glad you’ve been cognizant of this with your employees. I am sure they appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for recognizing this real issue. My husband especially gets crapped on at work bc all the others have kids. Really unfair. Im sorry you have to jump through such hoops just to get the benefits that are supposed to be offered to all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hopingonhope says:

    Ive thankfully never felt any discrimination both ways(when not a parent, when pregnant and now as a parent) . My organization has a relatively easy flex working policy, just depends on your nature of job. However, I must add that being a parent to a small child also has its own disadvantages in many organizations. I
    Rarely take any time off for
    Myself or even go for any post office socializations(after work
    Drinks etc) because I have to rush home and thus am always the last to hear on any office news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you haven’t had any discrimination. It’s good to know that it isn’t everywhere.
      I know there are two sides to every coin – I think I am just super sensitive to this one particular issue given my history of pregnancy losses and how badly I wish to have a baby. Maybe 20 years from now there will be some other issue on my list. Nothing is perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nara says:

    I get this! Maybe we work for the same company! 🙂

    Also at mine – some women work “compressed hours” which means they get paid the same for fewer days. Even though we all work long hours. Apparently their overtime counts and mine doesn’t.

    Another one is if you’re on Mat leave you get the standard end of year grade which a lot of people also get. So this year I worked my —- off on 18hr days and someone I know spent the year on leave and got the same grade (and bonus, etc).

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s sad that you get it, being all the way in another country and another continent. I guess it really doesn’t matter where you are and it’s not different anywhere.
      I can’t think of anyone that does the compressed hours where I am – I don’t think that’s hit my company yet.
      As for raises and bonuses, if you’re on leave (maternity or otherwise) you don’t get your raise/bonus until you return to work. And your bonus is pro-rated based on the amount of time that you’re out on leave.
      It’s not even the money that bothers me, it’s the time. My time is just as valuable as anyone else’s!!!


  6. Or sometimes its about “who you know.” Which can be also irritating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so frustrating. This came up last week at work when I left a meeting at 5:30 PM because I have to be home for our nanny at a certain time. Another person mentioned that they wanted to be able to leave, too, and I was thinking about how unfair it is that I have a reason to leave that people don’t argue with. Everyone’s time outside of work is just as important as the next person’s. Did you share this article with your HR Business Partner? I’d be curious to hear their response.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is definitely frustrating – not just for me but also for people who have responsibilities, such as elderly parents, that don’t get as much attention as the new parents. I didn’t share the article with my particular HR rep, but I know that several people from HR saw the article because they were included on the email group at work when it was originally sent out. It was sent out to our “Women in the Workplace” ERG. I didn’t see any responses.


  8. I almost like it better when they just give you more money in a transparent way for popping one out, like this company which made the news with its open policy:

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never heard of this company before. That’s an interesting approach. Although I’d be pissed if I had zero dependents and people were getting more money than me just because they had a family.
      Don’t mind me, I’m just very bitter about it all. xxx.


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