Bias against working mothers

A minority of employers still fear less commitment and flexibility as well as outdated skills.

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LABOUR: Working mothers face tough times again - poll

working motherDespite rising global employment expectations, the opportunities of working mothers have diminished, according to a survey by the serviced office provider Regus, reflecting a return of prejudice in some businesses.

The company surveyed more than 10,000 business respondents from its global database from August to September last year. The results showed that the proportion of firms intending to hire more working mothers has dropped by 20%, with only 36% of respondents planning to do so, compared to 44% in 2009.

When compared to overall business employment expectations, where 45% of companies globally intended to make new hires in 2011, the study showed the intention to employ working mothers had fallen considerably below this level, causing considerable concern among families, women's groups and governments alike.

The report also reveals residual concerns among a minority of employers, who still fear that working mothers may show less commitment and flexibility than other employees (37%), leave shortly after training to have another child (33%) or have outdated skills (24%).

On the positive side, a majority of businesses now value returning mothers, with 72% saying that they believe companies that ignore part-time returning mothers are missing out on a significant and valuable part of the employment pool.

In addition, 56% regard working mothers as offering skills that are difficult to find in the current market and 57% say they value returning mothers because they offer experience and skills without demanding top salaries.

William Willems, Regus's vice-president for Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand, said he was not surprised by the result showing that prejudiced attitudes had come back into play with economic belt-tightening.

There is some concern that family commitments may hinder working mothers from giving their jobs full attention.

(Source: Bangkok Post, LABOUR, Working mothers face tough times again - poll, 28/02/2011, link

working mothers - women who have a job in addition to all the responsibilities of being a mother and raising children
global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
employment - having a paid job
expectations - what people think will happen in the future การคาดคะเน
opportunities - situations in which it is possible to do what you want or need to do
diminished - decreased in size or importance
survey - gathering information about what people think about different subjects (public opionion) by asking large numbers of people questions and counting their answers, and then using statistics, graphs, and tables to present results (See Wikipedia) การสำรวจความเห็น
prejudice - having an unreasonable opinion or feeling, especially the feeling of not liking a particular groups of people ความมีอคติ ความลำเอียง

respondent - a person who answers a survey, who provides personal information for a survey
database - a large amount of information stored in a computer in an organised way ฐานข้อมูล
results - what is produced in the end by an activity or task (here: what the survey found to be true by interviewing people)
intend - have a certain goal, aim, plan, or purpose (in acting the way they do) ) ตั้งใจ, มีเป้าหมายที่จะทำ
intending to hire - planning to hire a new employee, planning to get a new worker

globally - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
intended - planned; wanted to happen ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น
intention (noun) - a plan in your mind to do something ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
employ - to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it ว่าจ้าง, จ้าง
considerable - large; of noticeable importance จำนวนมาก
concern - a worry ความกังวล
women's group - a group that provides special services for women in a community on a not-for-profit basis 

residual - that remain, that continue to exist (means: that many have disappeared or been eliminated, but some still exist)
concerns - worries ความกังวล
minority - a small percentage, less than 50% จำนวนน้อย
employers - companies that hire workers
commitment - willing to give your time and energy to something that you believe in; a promise or firm decision to do something การมอบความไว้วางใจ
flexibility - can change easily and adapt to new situations and conditions as they occur ความยืดหยุ่น
training - to teach people how to do an activity or job การฝึกฝน
outdated - old and no longer suitable or useful, not currently being used, old-fashioned
skills - a type of work or task requiring special training and knowledge ทักษะ ความสามารถเฉพาะทาง

- good ที่ดี
majority - most of the people in a group คนส่วนใหญ่
ignore - to fail to pay attention to; to pretend that you have not noticed or do not know about something เพิกเฉย
miss out - when a person does not act quickly enough, and does not get something (they could have got, if they acted quickly enough), miss out on an opportunity
significant - important สำคัญ
valuable - worth a lot of money มีค่า
employment pool - a group of people available for work สมาคม กลุ่มสถาบัน

regard - to consider or have an opinion about something or someone เห็นว่า,ถือว่า
current - at the present time ปัจจุบัน
economic belt-tightening - to save money spending less money on the things you buy
attitude -
opinion, viewpoint, stance, stand ทัศนคติ, ความคิดเห็น
prejudiced attitudes -
when a person does not like certain groups of people (here: women with children = mothers)
commitments - things you must do (because you promised to do them)

About the author

Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer