Maternal bias is when we incorrectly assume that mothers are less committed and less competent. As a result, mothers are often given fewer opportunities and held to higher standards than fathers.
(light electronic music) - Two quick reminders before I get started. First, people of all genders fall into bias traps, not just men. Second, knowing that unconscious bias exists isn't enough. We need to look for it, and commit to take steps to counteract it. Motherhood triggers assumptions that women are less committed to their careers, and less competent. It can intensify the performance bias that women already face. As a result, mothers are often given fewer opportunities, and held to higher standards than fathers. We fall into the trap of thinking, mothers are not as interested in their jobs now that they have kids. So we assume that they don't want that challenging assignment, or to go on that big work trip. Because we think they're less committed, we're more likely to penalize them for small mistakes or oversights. Research shows that maternal bias is the strongest kind of gender bias. In one study, when PTA coordinator is added to a woman's resume, she is 79% less likely to be hired. She's half as likely to be promoted, and she's offered an average of $11,000 less in salary. Interestingly, maternal bias also starts early. As soon as women get engaged, they face pushback, because we assume they're going to have children. And men face some pushback when they become parents too. Studies show that fathers who take time off for family reasons, receive lower performance ratings, and experience steeper reductions in future earnings, than mothers who do. Now you know how maternal bias works. As a next step, you can use our bias cards, to learn specific ways it shows up in the workplace, and what to do about it. (fast-paced electronic music)