Forty Percent Of Female Candidates For Senior Roles Asked About Child Plans In Interview

A new survey released by Applied has made some alarming discoveries. The headline figure and seemingly the most shocking of all was the revelation that approximately forty percent of persons from the female demographic who submitted applications in respect of higher-level positions within organisations who had been subjected to inquiries from their respective interviewers regarding their future intentions to have children or if they currently do in fact have a family.   

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Now as everyone is aware the strength of a survey rises and falls on the broadness and depth of the survey sample taken. This survey was no exception and the survey organisers appear to have approached a survey sample of approximately two thousand persons to gauge their opinion and their experiences in this important area. Those providing their view on their future intentions regarding family planning. This was not the only finding uncovered by the survey organisers. It highlighted that just under twenty percent of those from the female demographic who were not occupying a leading position within businesses have been subjected to questions regarding their intentions to start a family or have children whilst the job application process was ongoing and progressing. 

The survey organisers also revealed that just shy of forty percent of those who were approached for a response to the survey occupying the female demograohic and taken advantage of a break in their career for a half-year time period. The reader may be inquisitive of the reasoning behind why this group of persons decided to suspend their working career for this time period. The results of the survey and those from the female demographic who decided to provide answers to the posed by the organisers of the survey claimed that they had opted to do this due to the need to look after their dependent offspring and for whom they had responsibilities of a parental nature. 

An interesting observation was made by the organisers of the survey. It seems as though just over ten percent of those who were approached by the organisers of the survey from the male demographic had had a period of time in the amount of half a year where they were not in fact working predominantly due to the need to care for children for whom they had care responsibilities.      

Lessons Learned?

This survey does not appear to make for happy reading Employers reading this and employers should be following the below strategy in response to it: 

  • avoiding the need to make inquiries with prospective members of the workforce they are considering recruiting into their organisation by way of the interview journey
  • realising that to make such inquiries in this regard is unlawful
  • businesses are not permitted to request this information from persons in this situation
  • such behaviour on the part of employers potentially leaves the business exposed to claims of less favourable discriminatory treatment
  • steering well clear of putting questions to prospective members of the workforce involving protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 such as: 
  1. family planning
  • inquiries into the marital or single status of a job interview candidate or
  • have children.  

If anyone reading this article can identify with anything raised under this survey released by Applied or have experienced anything similar, have an opposing perspective or otherwise disagree with anything raised under it, we would be very grateful if you could please kindly place a comment on the article or approach us to provide your opinion get in touch.  
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