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But despite this wider female-focus, women are still too afraid to ask their companies about maternity benefits.
Four in five female employees (78%) say they would not ask a potential employer about maternity benefits at the interview stage, for fear that it could jeapordise their chances or increase their risk of being made redundant in the future.
According to a Glassdoor study of the attitudes of 1,000 women in the UK, the biggest fear (51%) comes from the fact that employees are worried their bosses might assume they are already pregnant, or that talking about children may hinder their future career progression (31%).
One in five respondents (19%) also thought that they may not be taken seriously once this query is on the table.
Even a large number of women who are currently employed (41%) feel uncomfortable asking about their employer’s maternity policy. A similar 42% said that they would only ask about this if they were, in fact, announcing their pregnancy.
Among this set of respondents, 43% said they were worried that employers would think they were trying to get pregnant, while almost one in three (30%) thought it was “just not professional.” One in five (22%) was afraid this query would put them at risk of redundancy.
Not only were women staff hesitant to ask, but it also seems they were not provided this information when joining the organisation, with 39% saying it was “difficult to find” the policy and 13% saying that it was not published anywhere.
“It seems female employees cannot find a ‘best time to ask’ for this information as 22% would make a conscious decision to wait until they had crossed their probation period, to ask their line manager about it,” added the study.