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How can this still happen in 2019?!

(95 Posts)
HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 14:51:17

I interviewed for a new job on Tuesday.
They head hunted me, I more than qualified for the position, they had my CV before I got there and were really keen until the older male interviewer noticed my engagement ring.
He then asked if I had a family, I explained I had 2 children and very good childcare and good family support etc.
I thought it was incredibly inappropriate for him to ask anyway, but then throughout the interview he kept reverting to questions about my children. The younger male interviewer was asking about my hobbies, experience, education as to be expected and the older male would then chip in and ask inane questions such as “We have a long working day, how will you cope with childcare?” for example.
I was taken aback and replied as professionally as I could but it was extremely evident it was a problem for him.

To make matters worse, when he was listing things such as my notice period for my current job he actually wrote “CHILDREN” in capital letters and underlined it.

I have since been told I am not suitable for the position and will not be offered the job.

I know this is discrimination but how do I prove it? I wouldn’t want to work there anyway but I’m really angry and upset about it. My industry requires being a member of a professional body and I am tempted to contact them to make a complaint about him. They can request the interview notes, but surely he’ll just write new ones or edit the real ones?

I can’t believe this still happens in 2019. I’ve never experienced it before and I’m fucking furious and saddened in equal measures.

Should I report the misogynistic twat?

Allycumpooster Thu 14-Nov-19 14:54:01

Yes, report him. Absolutely not acceptable for him to do that.

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 14:57:54

It really isn’t is it.
My worry is that everyone in my industry seems to know each other and it’s very male dominated. If I kick up a full and cannot price it, am I just going to make myself look silly and potential blacklist myself from other firms?

TheReluctantCountess Thu 14-Nov-19 15:00:51

I didn’t think questions like that were allowed in an interview. I think you should definitely take it further.

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 15:03:43

They’re not allowed. Interviewers are not allowed about relationships or children etc.
I should have been more firm when he asked me. I wish I would have said “I’m not sure how my children are relevant to the job role?” or something, but I was so stunned I just tried to keep directing the interview back to my education and experience

MsVestibule Thu 14-Nov-19 15:05:06

Please take it further. I bet his co-interviewer was mortified.

I believe they are allowed to ask these questions, as long as they ask them of every interviewee, regardless of their sex but from what you've said, that sounds unlikely,

As a matter of interest, how do you know at what point in the interview he noticed your engagement ring?

Trooperslaneagain Thu 14-Nov-19 15:05:12

ACAS. Today.

Emeraldshamrock Thu 14-Nov-19 15:07:11

They're not allowed to ask. There was a recent case due to ageism, the interviewee won. The other interviewer will back you up.
I think it why there are usual 2 interviewers to keep it above board.

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 15:07:21

@MsVestibule I put my hand on the table rather than on my lap and his eyes very obviously darted to my ring finger and he held its gaze for a good few seconds.
After that, his tone and question content changed.

I’m fairly newly qualified and most people in my position are mid twenties. I’m early thirties and look younger so I think it took him by surprise.

Allycumpooster Thu 14-Nov-19 15:07:57

I also work in a small, make dominated industry. I would be all over this like the stroppy, opinionated pain the ass I have a reputation for being grin. He would not have asked those questions if you were a man, he cannot expect to just get away with this.

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 15:08:41

I believe they are allowed to ask these questions, as long as they ask them of every interviewee, regardless of their sex but from what you've said, that sounds unlikely

My friend is a HR manager said they are not allowed to ask questions such as these unless it’s directly relevant to the job. It definitely isn’t in my case.

GettingABitDesperateNow Thu 14-Nov-19 15:09:09

That's absolutely disgusting.

Whether you can prove you didnt get the job because of that or not, is one thing (it doesnt sound like it, but there could be another reason).

But him asking you about children is illegal. And there is a witness. And he evidenced it. Definitely report (maybe start with his own HR and whoever headhunted you).

I still cant believe this happens. I hope they employ a man who takes multiple paternity leaves

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 14-Nov-19 15:09:11

As MsVestibule says they can ask them, but only if they ask every single candidate the same questions.

MindyStClaire Thu 14-Nov-19 15:10:00

I would feedback to their HR department at the very least. But that is truly awful.

Chlosavxox Thu 14-Nov-19 15:10:14

I would defiantly report him

Jaxhog Thu 14-Nov-19 15:10:27

As far as I'm aware, asking these questions is actually illegal!

Talk to ACAS asap.

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 15:11:20

I was headhunted via a recruiter. He placed me in my current role a while ago and presented my details to the firm who then requested he contacted me.
I have informed the recruiter of the situation. He’s horrified and very apologetic.

Frannyhy Thu 14-Nov-19 15:13:24

Bring back the days when an employer was able to hire the best person for the job without all this bullshit.

MindyStClaire Thu 14-Nov-19 15:14:35

I'm confused Franny - do you think the employer was in the right here?

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 15:15:00

@Frannyhy what do you mean by that comment?

Hithere2 Thu 14-Nov-19 15:15:10

Why it happens?
Because sadly, the law is ahead of the society.

The perception that mothers are a burden to the workplace is still very widespread.

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 15:15:58

It’s ridiculous to assume because I’ve birthed 2 children that I’m unable to commit to a job

Curtainly Thu 14-Nov-19 15:16:29

Depending on how above board HR wise the company is, when I have interviewed I have always had to submit my notes from interview. I am guessing it is in case there was a challenge on the decision etc. I hope this is the case for them and if you report it (which you should) then they will see the CHILDREN. I was asked about a decade ago if I was planning children, and I said that was highly inappropriate to ask. I didn't get the job as I 'didnt provide full answers'. It is disgusting, and men don't get asked that I bet do they.

HowDeepIsYourGlove Thu 14-Nov-19 15:16:41

@Hithere2 yes. When in reality I’m the only female in my current team and also the only one who hasn’t taken a sick day or unpaid leave this year.

Brefugee Thu 14-Nov-19 15:16:55

That is shitty but I guess if you don't want to make waves you have to chalk it up to experience.

Next interview - your decision: wear ring or not?
Practice in the mirror: That is not an appropriate question.
Also - if they ask about long working days say something like "yes, I'm aware that sometimes project deadlines mean long working days, I'm not afraid of hard work"

Way back when my DC were small my DH and I swapped roles, and he took over the SAHP role, and i looked for a job. I explained in every single bloody application that was what we were doing. Every. Single. Fucking. One. Even though I didn't had to.

Walked out of one interview when 2nd question was: what will you do if one of your children is sick? they always want their mothers.

Walked out of another interview when they asked me if i was planning further children.

both illegal questions. (I'm not in the UK)

Final one which nearly broke me. US company. big panel interview - 9 applicants, 9 interviewers from all parts of the company, including HR boss, but also relative newbies. All sat opposite each other on a long table. First part all questions about what we'd seen on the company tour, relevant experience etc etc. Coffee break - chap next to me said he was a bit nervous as his little boy was home sick with wife. Told me he had 2 DC same ages as mine.

Back to interview. HR chief -> me: and what would you do if your child was sick?
Me: yeah, no. I have childcare as i've explained.
HR chief asks several questions to other (all male) applicants. Only asks me about childcare etc...

bit later on. HR chief: let's throw it open. Do you have any questions. When it was my turn, turned to the chap next to me: so what will you do when your kid gets sick?

Hr chief -> me: that's inappropriate.
Me walking out: as was your whole line of questioning to me about my children as the only woman and not asking any of these fathers.

that was 20 years ago. Nothing changes except how we handle it.

Good luck in your job hunting

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