“Maybe baby?” The employment risk of potential parenthood

We extend this literature by proposing that motherhood is not a necessary condition for women to face motherhood penalties

Jamie L. Peterson Gloor; Tyler G. Okimoto; Eden B. King

2021

Scholarcy highlights

  • In other words, when making decisions with financial implications, we consider the potential outcome and the likelihood of that outcome. Integrating these theoretical insights from economics, we examine managers' uncertainty about early career women's future childbearing as a trigger for perceptions of
  • In Study 1, we provide empirical evidence of “maybe baby” bias by illustrating that early career, childfree women are more often placed in more precarious employment positions compared with their male and parent counterparts
  • This study showed implicit evidence of “maybe baby” bias and decision-­ makers' tendency to compensate for that expected risk and costs of a potential pregnancy with more precarious employment conditions
  • Across two studies and mixed methods, this research showed evidence of a “maybe baby” bias that disadvantages young women's careers by increasing their employment risk. This highlights a need for increased attention and objectivity in personnel selection and employment decisions, especially at early career stages
  • Childfree women were more likely to have temporary job contracts than childfree men—­ the difference was not statistically significant—­and mothers
  • Gender and potential parenthood biases are sensitive organizational topics, we focused our analyses on arguably objective information, and conducted between-­subjects, interaction effects
  • Across two studies and mixed methods, this research showed evidence of a “maybe baby” bias that disadvantages young women's careers by increasing their employment risk

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