Employed and pregnant : Things you need to know

Pregnancy in the workplace is a greatly discussed subject. While measures have been taken throughout the years for equality in the workplace, there are still some obstacles women face when it comes to certain areas. As a woman, it is not only important to know your rights but you also need to be prepared for the things that are not mention in the “law”.

 

When it comes to pregnancy, many things can be subliminal and taboo. An employer, for example cannot fire a woman because she’s pregnant. However, some employers will try to find discrete ways to hide their discrimination. Some women have reported having been fired because of “the dangerous environment” when in reality, the boss simply did not know how to handle the situation. An employer cannot refuse you a job because you are pregnant except if the job itself will expose you to chemicals that could be harmful for you and the baby. But some recruiters tend to ask illegal questions during interviews.

If you are planning on getting pregnant, here are some ways you can plan ahead so it does not negatively impact your career.

Plan ahead/know your rights

Pregnancies are not always planned. However, if you think you might try to get pregnant in the near future, it is important that you plan ahead. You can start by talking to someone you trust in the HR department to tell them about your plans.

Get informed on your rights as a pregnant employee, how many sick days you are allowed to take during the year and the benefits that are offered for this case. If a company has a policy in place that, for employees with special needs (no matter what these needs may be), the company is also expected to provide reasonable accommodations to a pregnant woman who requires special attention (light duty, longer breaks) during her pregnancy. Make sure you know what your rights are ahead of time.

The United States is the only developed country that does not mandate some sort of paid maternity leave. While the Family and Medical Leave Act does require some employers to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to female and male employees for the birth and care of a newborn child, about42% of American workers are not covered by this law.

Respect your obligations

If you want to be treated fairly, it is also important to respect your obligations. There are times when your health might not allow you to work as much as you usually do. However, make sure you identify colleagues who will be able to help out. Be honest about how you feel. Do not hesitate to ask to push back deadlines if you realize you will not be able to finish the work.

Before you can say goodbye to work, you need to plan your maternity leave. About 4 weeks in advance, tell your boss the precise day you expect to stop working and a approximate date that you’ll be back. This will help your team prepare for your leave and see who can take on some of your responsibilities. Let them know how they can be able to contact you (and the time of the day they can contact you of course) in order to communicate important information with you. Truth is, you will have some days where you will probably be able to take care of certain things from home.

Manage your symptoms at work

You could ask to be placed not too far from the bathroom if this is something you need to use often during your pregnancy.

Remember everybody knows what symptoms comes with being pregnant. It is not a bad thing to prepare your bosses and colleagues. However, it is up to you to communicate clearly so that everybody knows what to expect (even to expect the unexpected).

 

Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints

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The benefits of having women in the workplace

 

Having women in the workplace is very common today. However it was not won without a fight. Women had to learn to earn their rights to be treated as equally as men in terms of: salary, titles, respect ando more. Even though we might not be where we want to be, thank God we are not where we used to be!

Here are a few benefits among many others of having women in the workplace.

Diversity

Mixing male and female employees will help bring diversity to the workplace. This is really important as it can contribute to a better environment. It will bring in new ideas and ways of seeing and doing things.

Better communication

We have all heard: ” Men are attracted by what they see while women are attracted by what they hear”. Because of most women natural tendency to communicate more, it makes them great counselors in the workplace. A great leader knows how to take the time to listen. This makes women better HR managers in some cases, better supervisors or even better bosses. Keep in mind that, this, by no means is a general statement. I understand that there are numerous factors involved when talking about ones unique strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. However, it is important to consider these general factors in order to make better decisions in the workplace.

More challenges

In the Zinger Folk man Survey, women were rated highest in the category of taking initiatives. Could this be partly explained by the fact that, in some cases, woman feel the need to work harder than man in order to benefit from the same advantages? Taking initiatives is an important trait in the business world as we need go-getters in order to make things happen.

Betrer financial performance

A 2007 report from non-profit research organization, the catalyst, found out that Fortune 500 companies with more female board directors attained significantly higher financial performance than those with the lowest female representation. Taking 3 important factors into consideration: Return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital, this deserves our attention.

Development and empowerment of others

Also in the Zinger Folk man Survey, woman were rated more highly in the “developing others” category. In order for a company to succeed, it is important to think about team building. We need people of have a sense of leadership and team building. This attribute not only benefits the company but also the employees.

 

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4 traits of a boss lady

A woman with vision is unstoppable, a woman who is always increasing her skills multiplies. Along with passion this woman is undeniable. _ Janna Cachola

In this day and age, it is not enough to be average. If you want people to notice you and have success you need to excel in what you decide to do. Any woman can on a business but not any woman can be a BOSS LADY.

Are you a boss lady? Here is a checklist to help you find out!

She knows what she wants

She might not always know right away HOW to get there but she knows what she wants. A boss lady is not walking around life with no sense of purpose. She has drive and vision and is ready to do whatever she needs to do to make progress.

She is not afraid to walk alone

A boss lady does not need your approval to start what she has decided to start. She is not afraid to walk alone because her motto is “Be so good that they can’t ignore you.” She knows that her value does not decrease based on others inability to see it yet.

She believes in herself

A boss lady believes in herself and in her abilities to make things happen. She clearly sees the vision in front of her and has no doubt that she is fully able to reach her goals.

She gets things done

A boss lady believes that actions speak louder than words. And she is right! She is more focused on getting things done than announcing what she is about to do. She is ready to use whatever resource she has in hand to work towards her goals.

 

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