The awful thing almost a third of women do before job interviews to avoid discrimination

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It’s illegal to judge a candidate based on their marital status, but that doesn’t stop it from happening.

By Catriona Harvey-Jenner

We wish it wasn’t, but discrimination against women in the workplace is still extremely prevalent. The thinking among some companies is: ‘why employ a woman if she’s only going to go off and have a kid in a year or two?’

Of course, it is completely illegal to discriminate in this way, but that doesn’t stop it happening. It’s exactly why we see such a gross lack of women in senior positions, and it’s also why the gender pay gap shows no signs of slowing down.

 

While we know we shouldn’t be penalised for having a uterus (and, god forbid, considering actually using it) some women, it seems, go out of their way to avoid it happening. According to research highlighted by CreditAngel, 29% of women remove their wedding ring ahead of a job interview for fear of discrimination.

Prospective employers can’t ask candidates about their martial status or any plans to have children, however many women believe interviewers may infer this kind of information if they notice a wedding or engagement ring on their finger.

Speaking on a Reddit thread, one woman explained why she had done exactly this before. “Being a woman in my 20s, I feel like people think it makes me ‘family oriented’ and I’ll just quit to start a family 6 months later,” she wrote.

 

And while I can totally understand why she does it, it’s outrageous. Even if she was planning to start a family any time soon, it doesn’t lessen her capability within the job role, and let’s face it – if women want to have children, it’s pretty important that they do, otherwise we’d be in trouble where the population is concerned.

The idea of women ditching their ring for a job interview isn’t new; recruiter Bruce Herwitz hit headlines in 2016 when he wrote a (genuinely serious) article on LinkedIn entitled: “When interviewing for a job, lose the ring!”

His justification for this ‘wise’ advise was that “when a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance. When the woman at the office who has the largest diamond on her finger, sees that ring, she will realise that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you. Lose the ring!”

Er, okay.

Here’s some better advice: wear your engagement ring to an interview if you have one. Wear your wedding ring to an interview if you have one. Because I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be employed by a company who would look at the piece of silverware on my fourth finger and make assumptions about me and my life choices as a result.

 

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