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Should a woman being interviewed volunteer information she knows the interviewer can't ask?

Family Law Discussion Forum

Should a woman being interviewed volunteer information she knows the interviewer can't ask?

Postby werner72 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:31 pm

I know that interviewers are discouraged from asking women questions about whether they intend to start a family, due to lawsuits related to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Unfortunately, this has led to more discrimination against hiring women. Instead of ruling out the candidates they know are going to have families (to avoid having to pay maternity leave and replace the preggars employee in the interim), they simply avoid women in general because the sheer possibility of lost productivity, increased cost, or a lawsuit is hanging over their heads. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5PEz8atQyw

I am a career-oriented woman; I have no intention of having a family. I intend to enter a large law firm as an associate--a very intense, high-pressure, male-dominated environment. Here's my question: Since my employer is prevented from asking (but is doubtlessly concerned about the issue nonetheless), should I preemptively take the bull by the horns and volunteer in the interview that I don't intend to have a family? Will that ease their concerns, or will it make them nervous that I'm bluntly bringing up a taboo subject?
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Should a woman being interviewed volunteer information she knows the interviewer can't ask?

Postby karlitis » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:35 pm

NO, do not mention your views on having a family, it is inappropriate.
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Should a woman being interviewed volunteer information she knows the interviewer can't ask?

Postby macquaid35 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:39 pm

No not mention it. It is unprofessional. I work at a large law firm and got the job without volunteering any such information.
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Should a woman being interviewed volunteer information she knows the interviewer can't ask?

Postby dalon » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:45 pm

Not intending to have a family and having one are two different things. Just because you're not planning on it at this point does not preclude the possibility of pregnancy at any time in the future! I believe a casual mention would not be out of order while interviewing but don't belabor the point. If you are young and unmarried they may not put too much stock in what you claim because things can change dramatically at any time and you won't miss a beat when taking a leave if the situation does change! If you are married and have been for a little bit of time you can mention that not having a family in the next 5 years or so is a decision you have come to jointly and that it is in the interest of both careers that you wait. Perhaps you don't want any children period...but don't mention that to them. Just be honest and don't make it a big deal. People today are used to dealing with women and women who wish to have children...don't sell yourself or them short! Good luck!
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