Saturday, January 26, 2013

Addressing the unintended consequences

It's remarkable that it has taken this long for women to figure out that large companies aren't going to continue blithely hiring women of child-bearing age when women keep getting pregnant and then quitting on them:
Companies should be able to ask their employees about whether they hope to have children, Sheryl Sandberg, one of the most senior women in Silicon Valley, said Ms Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said that women are held back at work by stereotypes firms are unwilling to talk about. She said employees faced non-overt discrimination as well as overt discrimination and a lack of flexibility.

The 43-year-old mother-of-two called for a much more open dialogue about gender, which included discussing with female employees whether they plan to have children, The Telegraph reported her as saying.
The UK law is particularly bad, as it not only creates incentive to discriminate against all young women, but is shamelessly abused by women who have an incentive to lie to their employers, assure them they are coming back, and then let them know at the last possible moment that they will not be doing so.  It would actually be better for employers if they were permitted to pay women to leave as soon as they got pregnant, otherwise they can find themselves in limbo for more than a year, not knowing if the woman is going to come back to her job or not.

The irony, of course, is that the individual not being hired to replace the new mother is usually another woman.

I am a strong advocate of policies that help women put children ahead of careers.  But I don't believe that most maternity-related laws do so.


Anonymous said...

addressing the consequences:

little dynamo said...

"I am a strong advocate of policies that help women put children ahead of careers. But I don't believe that most maternity-related laws do so."

both leftie and rightie men have made financial killings over the past half century, as their wives and daughters (by legal and extra-legal coercion) have forced men from employment by the tens-of-millions ... men who then cannot head families, or raise/protect their sons, or even lead solvent and productive lives

those men (and those women) have LOVED LOVED LOVED the financial windfall resulting, with constant "extra" money for shoes, and handbags, and s.u.v.s, and jewelry and big fancy loud trucks rrrrrr everbody lookit me i'm tuff, and new Italian Slate kitchen countertops, summer soccer camp for the girls and on and on

the price of this greed and selfishness was paid by millions of men and boys ... in broken homes, in vast homelessness and impoverishment (for males, so, it's all good), in the torture and abuse of young males, and in skyrocketing suicide stats ... especially suicides over the past 2 decades of middle-aged men, long since jettisoned from the Fabulous Fempire of double-dipper incomes

men share much of the responsibility for this massacre with the utterly solipsistic and feral american woman, encouraging their wives and daughters to the satanic careerism demanded by the west's matriarchal societies

the consequences of the greed and selfishness so far has been hidden by the msm and govt, and borne exclusively by little boys and men

but lately america has begun to see, in its breakdown to violent chaos, the results of the past fifty years of selfishness and glut, and its absolute disinterest in the effects of its female-driven "workforce" and luxury/service economy

the vast impoverishment and unemployment of men is DIRECTLY consequent to the Full Female Employmet Economy, but like the FemMarxist Left, the "conservative" men dont wanna face that either, cuz they're All Right Jack! hows my 401K lookin?

when i pass thru u.s. towns, the women are all driving around in new cars, yammering into their newest electronic devices . . . they own the four-and-five bedroom houses, which they often live in alone, and they all have "great" jobs . . . and the Double Dippers, heck, they're in PigFat City

what a lie and a shame it all is . . . but then, obviously it was more important for america's daughters to be first in all things, and conservative men to have their new toys, and fuck-all to everyone else

well done folks; america deserves what she's about to get; no nation ever deserved it more

Unknown said...

My sister was working as a secretary when she got pregnant. She'd go to work, go to the women's room, throw up, lie down on the couch, feel better, go back to work, go to the women's room, throw up, lie down on the couch...after a month she had to quit.

She had two more kids and never had more than a part-time job.

Pip said...

Yes! More please!

This drives me insane as a childfree woman with a professional degree just north of 30. When taking on a long-term client as an equine DVM I am used to fielding questions designed to sniff around as to my own fertility plans. They are worried about me getting on, getting useful, and then...just when they really begin to rely on me...say, at the beginning of foaling season, having a kid and leaving. I don't blame them. I weave the "childfree" part into conversation quick anymore.

Pepper said...

This is a great post! I have questions about this particular topic. We have many female employees at my work and most of them have children. Also, our company probably represents the working poor population pretty well as we have many entry-level and mid-level clerk positions and very few positions where someone could actually support a family. In other words, the polar opposite of Sheryl Sandberg's target audience. But isn't it sort of normal (certainly not desirable!) that poor women work, and haven't they always thru history?

So, then the question becomes how has women in the work force really hurt the American family? My question is probably answered by Ray - by hurting the working class male, who in his own way is a pillar of society, especially because he represents what should be the citizen majority?

Personally speaking, I don't believe moms should work. My own Mom did, part time, but both my sister and sister-in-law did not. Both of them stayed home and raised darn near picture perfect families. All of my nieces and nephews are well adjusted, drug free, kind and responsible. I would definitely make any sacrifices necessary to stay home and raise my own children. Not only is it done right if you do it yourself (who else can love my children, really?), but there is great joy in it. My sis and sis-in-law's crowning achievement in life is raising good kids. And, they are both long term married with no chance of divorce on the horizon. Basically, they did life right, as did my parents. And, they started their families early, like good girls should! Please don't ask what happened to me, I am the black sheep of the family! But I still have hope...I am not dead yet!

Pip, I just love your name! I have a cat named Pip. And, I attended an ag school, UC Davis. Your references to large animal vet med is taking me back to my college days. Between my old running route on Pole Line Road, the vineyards, the bike paths, my favorite job at the Coffee House, the Farmer's Market etc...I am reliving my past. I'd better stop though, because I am really off topic! But thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

Oh this is interesting, and I think I can apply one of my favorite fun points: Risk-weighted return. In short, "risk-weighted return" or "expected outcome" is the sum of the products of outcomes * likelihoods. For instance, if I am making an investment of $100, I may take two possible outcomes-- a 20% likelihood of losing all my money (.2*0=$0) and an 80% chance of a 10% return on capital (1.1*.8 =$88). Add them up, you get an expected outcome of $88, which is a method of calculating the value of a given investment decision. So making this particular investment would not be rational, because even though I have a chance of making 10% return, my expected outcome is less than what I already have.

Why is this applicable? Well, if I'm going to put women on a career track to the c-level--and assuming she's competing against other men--then I have to discount every woman's potential by the probability that she's going to drop out for kids--the expected value of her career, if you will, nicely illustrated by Pip's comment. So employers allocate resources (investments) accordingly, whether that be in putting people in positions, giving them training, etc, particularly in contrast to men who will almost certainly be more reliable comparatively.

This translates into less opportunity for all women, as everyone's discovering. It's perfectly economically rational, but creates a free-rider situation where the women who will have kids are getting ahead at the expense of the women who will not.

Anonymous said...

My previous job i worked at, boss hired a polish chick that i got to know well. She worked both HR and accounting. She got preggo exactly 1 year in and then 1 year after first kid got preggo again. Later she directly told me over beers that was her plan the whole time through. I liked her, she was my friend.. but damn.

The place i work now has 3 ladies who work HR, one of them is the one who lent me the book 'The Game'. She's really cool. She also told me that when they hire, they're very careful about hiring 'hit&runs' as they call them. I guess girls are better judges of girls intentions when it comes to hiring.

As i said, my previous boss was a dude who was a sucker for a blonde polish face.

Glenn said...

Too simple to solve -
Only women should hold the top echelons of positions in the corporate world. Therefore their Au Pairs can raise the anklebiters.

Anonymous said...

The cynic in my thinks this lady is looking for the angle. Companies can already protect themselves from the pregnancy risk, and flight risk generally in high value/high skill workers through deferred compensation and vesting periods.

What tech companies are notorious for is underpaying their employees. I can't recall the last time I heard of a person making a lateral move in tech without getting a 10k+ raise, and 20-30k+ raises are not unheard of.

It is probably the case that a female tech employee that doesn't tap out due to pregnancy is actually less of a flight risk than a man. So if a COO could identify which females aren't going to leave for family they could save a fortune underpaying their employees.

Anonymous said...

Just look at the US military and the number of women that get pregnant. And now we are going to open up all combat positions to them?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, we see this happening in the O&G industry. HIRE HIRE HIRE women! Empowered, enlightened, YOU GO GRRRRRRL!.

After a year into the job they decide they want a promotion and a move into an office position. While most guys have to spend 3-5 years doing the dirty work a woman can just "ooops" and she's guaranteed a promotion and better job. Because it's a male dominated industry the companies will trip all over themselves to keep a woman and the office that I work in (I slaved away for 6 years to get the position) is slowly transforming to the point that they are actually considering doing away with all but on mens bathroom and making 5 female bathrooms.

It's like clockwork really. She's been in the field for a year? Wait for the oops. Government may make birth control free... but they didn't provide the instructions on how to use it.

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