Recruiting can be challenging for many marketing companies. We all want to find the best candidate for the job. But when it comes to hiring women, it seems many companies are still asking unlawful and discriminatory questions when recruiting women.

Recently, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) surveyed employees and found hiring companies were unlawfully inquiring about their intentions to have children.

Women Still Get Asked About Maternity Plans

Maternity leave

Asking personal questions during job interviews is a faux pas. However, many companies continue to ask women personal questions about pregnancy and maternity.

Marketing Week outlines the results of the survey:

  • 36% said it was reasonable to ask women about their plan to have children during the recruitment process. 32% of marketing firms believe the same.
  • 60% agreed women should have to disclose if they are pregnant at the time of recruitment. 57% of marketing companies believe the same.
  • 46% believe it’s reasonable to ask if women have young children at home.

What’s the main issue with these beliefs? It’s against the law to ask these questions or to disqualify a candidate from contention for these reasons.

“We should all know very well that it is against the law not to appoint a woman because she is pregnant or might become pregnant,” says Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the EHRC.

“Yet we also know women routinely get asked questions around family planning in interviews. It’s clear that many employers need more support to better understand the basics of discrimination law and the rights of pregnant women and new mothers.”

Discrimination Against Women Planning to Have Children Continues to Be an Issue

Pregnant women

Additional research from EHRC also found women are being discriminated against because of their plans to have children:

  • 44% believe women should work at a company for a year before choosing to have children
  • 40% of employers have accused women of taking advantage of their pregnancy
  • 41% believe pregnancy puts an unnecessary financial load on the organization
  • 51% of employees agree there is some resentment among employees toward women going on maternity leave

There is still a lot of work to do to reduce gender discrimination in the workplace. Bringing these issues to light is one way to start working in the right direction.

Read More About Women in Marketing

Learn more about the issues many women have to overcome in the workplace today by reading these blog posts:

Women in the Workplace Study: There Is STILL Work to Be Done!

Must Read Workplace Gender Equality Stats

How to Spot a Unicorn Marketing Candidate


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Technology (IT), Accounting and Finance, Consumer Goods, eCommerce and Retail, Financial Services and Insurance, Startup, B2B and Industrial, Operations and HR, Professional Services and Legal, Media, Digital and Marketing, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Emerging Technology and Telecom, and  Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Mark Rouse Marketing Recruiter

Mark Rouse

Mark leads Canada’s largest Marketing Communications & Media recruitment practice. Leveraging close to two decades of industry experience in the Marketing Services and Agency businesses, he has been responsible for hiring, developing, and retaining top talent as Vice-President with companies such as Young & Rubicam, Wunderman, and J. Walter Thompson.

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