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Stay-at-Home Moms Are Half as Likely to Get a Job Interview as Moms Who Got Laid Off

May 3 2018

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In the News

Reentering the workforce after taking a leave of absence can be difficult, but is it harder for workers who lost their jobs and have been unemployed or workers who took time away to care for children? My research shows it’s the latter who have it worse.

Written by Kate Weisshaar


In a recent research study, Weisshaar found that many employers are biased against job applicants who have temporarily stayed at home with their children, even preferring laid-off applicants who have been out of work for the same amount of time.

This study builds on existing research into the challenges unemployed job applicants experience when trying to find new jobs. While researchers have studied why parents might decide to leave work and stay at home with their children, previous research did not have a clear understanding of what happens to these parents when they decide to return to work.
The results show just how heavily parents reentering the workforce are penalized for their career gap: 15.3% of the employed mothers, 9.7% of the unemployed mothers, and 4.9% of the stay-at-home mothers received a callback.
The results were similar for fathers. While 14.6% of the employed fathers and 8.8% of unemployed fathers received a callback, only 5.4% of stay-at-home fathers did.

Read more at Harvard Business Review