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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jontu View Post
    Sorry if I misread your post. I do think it was really unfair that you were treated poorly whilst on maternity leave. It was the part when you said being in your next place part time lawyers are treated as though invisible and this is what I interpreted as being a choice of going back part time. If you were male lawyer and part time, would the firm have treated you differently?
    You also said you moved for dh to progress and give you a break and flexibility. Again was that not a choice?
    No no no. None of this was my "choice".

    1. Men don't work part time in law firms. I've seen it once in 15 years of working in major law firms.

    2. It was assumed I would lose interest in my job before I even went on maternity leave. No one ever asked me. I worked until 40 weeks and never had a day off during pregnancy.

    3. We moved in part because I got sick of beating my head against a ceiling I didn't build. If my career had been as it was supposed to be it wouldn't have even been on the radar.

    I think you really don't understand what the word choice means.

    Sorry I'm a bit passionate about this because it doesn't have to be this way. DH is a partner in an international law firm that actually knows how to treat and progress part time women. He mainly employs women and most are part time. He's learned from my experience.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jontu View Post
    Thanks for all the replies.
    Biologically women are the ones who get pregnant and will need time off after having the baby for various reasons such as physical recovery, breastfeeding etc. And it us unfortunate but reality is women have a biological clock when it comes to fertility so unlike men it often is the case that we put our career on hold whilst starting a family.
    But deciding to come back to work part time is something I still see as being a choice, the best choice for the family at the time. So I don't see it as being because of constraints placed upon individuals by their workplace due to gender (of course there would be some exception). And going by the replies, it sounds like the playing field was pretty even pre - kids but shifted after having kids but sounds like it's the women who's focus has shifted.
    No, the women's focus has NOT always shifted away from work- clearly, some of the replies show that it was the constraints of a patriarchal workplace that forced them to make that choice.
    And sorry, but neuroscience is showing more and more clearly that the idea that women are inherently more maternal is a load of rubbish. It's rubbish. Women are socially conditioned to be more nurturing. It is expected more of us.


    In our case: I took 12 months off with both kids and then went back to part time work while DP continued working full time (but shorter hours). This was certainly not out of pure choice, but a financial consideration. I am no more nurturing than DP. Certainly after the first 6 months of birth I could have very easily gone back to work. If I didn't breastfeed it could've been 3 months, no problems. But we did want someone to stay home and it had to be me because financially it didn't make sense for it to be DP. If that wasn't a factor we could have easily swapped after the newborn phase.

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  5. #23
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    OP, please have a look at the link I provided in the other thread about the pay gap. And have a read on some commentary around it. The pay gap is real, the glass ceiling is real, women actually don't have the same choices as men around employment. They don't. There was a thread in here the other day about telling our employer that you're pregnant and one response was 'if you're child bearing age they expect it'. Companies expect women at the peak age of their careers to take time off. So they don't hire them. Or they don't give them as many training opportunities. Or they don't give them important clients/projects because they might leave. Or once they're back from maternity leave with baby #1 they are given some token part time role because it's expected that they will take more time off for baby #2 and possibly #3. Or they come back from mat leave and are not suggested for promotion because an assumption is made that you won't want too much on your plate. These examples are real. Some have happened to me.
    Men NEVER have people make these assumptions. It is assumed that men will just power on through their 30's and 40's and their kids will have no effect on their ability to do their job.

    Not to mention that the reality for a lot of women is that when they go to work, they often still do the lion's share of the housework and childcare. (Again, I'm not making this up- that is fact) So of course they burn out and decide to stay home- who would want two full time jobs?

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    And not to mention the criticism working mums receive from other mums for not being present at school things etc. It's lose lose for many.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    No no no. None of this was my "choice".

    1. Men don't work part time in law firms. I've seen it once in 15 years of working in major law firms.

    2. It was assumed I would lose interest in my job before I even went on maternity leave. No one ever asked me. I worked until 40 weeks and never had a day off during pregnancy.

    3. We moved in part because I got sick of beating my head against a ceiling I didn't build. If my career had been as it was supposed to be it wouldn't have even been on the radar.

    I think you really don't understand what the word choice means.

    Sorry I'm a bit passionate about this because it doesn't have to be this way. DH is a partner in an international law firm that actually knows how to treat and progress part time women. He mainly employs women and most are part time. He's learned from my experience.
    I am genuinely trying to understand though why it's the women who are going back part time. Why is it not the men?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jontu View Post
    I am genuinely trying to understand though why it's the women who are going back part time. Why is it not the men?
    Because I wanted to breastfeed and go back when DD1 was 4 months. Work wouldn't let me so I had to stay off longer. They made my return conditions so difficult it became impossible to return. I had to find another job and all I could get was a job sharing role with another partner at a different firm (my area was highly specialised).

    But for many it's because its often that child care fees are so expensive that their salary even at full time won't cover it. Or they feel immense guilt about going back full time because it's not what new mothers are "meant to do".

    I can only speaks for myself and my industry. I knew women who were full time mums who had to not only work harder the men but be better and smarter. The men (not all but those from more traditional marriages) would constantly question their dedication.

    This was only 11 years ago. Not that long ago really but back then most workplaces were only starting to get their heads around paid parental leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jontu View Post
    I am genuinely trying to understand though why it's the women who are going back part time. Why is it not the men?
    Pay inequalities which means that men earn the higher income, so financially it makes 'more sense' for the woman to stay home.

    The expectation and reality that even with both parents working full time the woman still does the vast majority of housework and childcare (therefore it becomes too much, and the woman drops works hours to accommodate home life).

    The societal expectation that a woman's role is to be at home with the kids, the man's role is to provide (I experience this first hand...I might be travelling for work next year, meaning I'll only be home when I have more than one day off in a row...will be similar to fly in/fly out work...and when I tell people this they are HORRIFIED. How could I leave my kids for a year just to advance my career? But when my DH is travelling a lot to advance his career he gets 'wow, good on you.' And then to me 'I bet he gets paid well for all that travel.' No one, and I mean no one is horrified at the thought of DH not being home, but I get 'you wouldn't do that would you? Why don't you just stay in the role you're in so you don't have to leave your kids? The kids won't cope without you (no one is worries about the kids when DH isn't home) etc. etc.)

    The man's refusal to not advance in his career, therefore the woman stays home and supports her husband.

    The expectation that once a woman is of childbearing age she won't want to be promoted in to higher roles that are more demanding, because she will want to be at home more.

    Women not being promoted in to higher roles because 'she might choose to have another child, and will then go on maternity leave.'

    Don't forget, it was only 35 years ago that once a woman was married she was expected to quit her job...because her role then was to be a wife, and a mother. Society still has so far to go. The inequality in the workforce between men and women is huge still. In male dominated professions it is near impossible for women to advance as far as the men do...Sonja's experience is a perfect example of that.
    Last edited by Full House; 09-03-2016 at 16:50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    No no no. None of this was my "choice".

    1. Men don't work part time in law firms. I've seen it once in 15 years of working in major law firms.

    2. It was assumed I would lose interest in my job before I even went on maternity leave. No one ever asked me. I worked until 40 weeks and never had a day off during pregnancy.

    3. We moved in part because I got sick of beating my head against a ceiling I didn't build. If my career had been as it was supposed to be it wouldn't have even been on the radar.

    I think you really don't understand what the word choice means.

    Sorry I'm a bit passionate about this because it doesn't have to be this way. DH is a partner in an international law firm that actually knows how to treat and progress part time women. He mainly employs women and most are part time. He's learned from my experience.
    I'm really sorry you were treated this way and that this is still happening. the jaded cynic (or realist?) in me says I'm not surprised, law is a boys club, of course women have to behave like men to get ahead. that really makes me sad.

    one day I hope there are firms with more women partners who are more compassionate and tolerant of women's working arrangements for mat leave and after having kids.

    seems ridiculous in 2016 this type of sh.t is still happening.

    accounting (my field) is also quite make dominated and a lot of men still outnumber women as partners/directors. this needs to change!

    In response to the thread, I've realised that whilst I enjoy having a profession and working, I'm not chasing the big bucks or fancy titles. I don't need/want/deal well with the stress and politics. going in and doing a job I'm good at and feel appreciated for is more important to me. I'd rather be part of a team that wants me as part of it, not a team that bullies its staff into performing "or else". I still make decent coin and my current role is basically no stress and my boss is very flexible and I have the ability to do part time and work from home. my boss is an extremely old school guy so I guess it shows an old dog can learn new tricks.


 

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