Parenting is one of life’s most rewarding journeys. Unfortunately, for many working parents in California, it comes with an unexpected challenge – parental discrimination. Despite the state’s progressive reputation, unfair treatment towards parents persists. Both employers and employees must address this silent struggle.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 70% of women with children under 18 were working or looking for work in 2022. This pool of employees often finds themselves facing unequal opportunities. Parental discrimination occurs when management restricts their teammates’ career opportunities.
Parent discrimination often takes in an unspoken form. Colleagues and supervisors may hold unconscious biases. Management may make assumptions about parents’ commitment, reliability and productivity. These biases contribute to a work culture that sidelines these employees. The company creates an atmosphere that undervalues their contributions.
Invisible glass ceiling
Working mothers face an invisible glass ceiling that limits their career advancement. Despite their qualifications, mothers are often overlooked. Management may assume the employees are unable to balance work and family life. This discrimination perpetuates gender disparities in the workplace. These individuals may not receive the same opportunities to show their full potential.
Since 1965, California’s Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has advocated for the needs of women, children and families. Commissioners focus on working with state policymakers to support females.
Parental discrimination remains a struggle in many California workplaces. Employers must strive to acknowledge and address these challenges. Working parents must also advocate for themselves throughout their careers.