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Is this a problem? Manager keeps asking when I'm going to get pregnant.

(6 Posts)
NCChristmas2014 Fri 05-Dec-14 18:36:00

Have NC.

I have been working for my company for over 2 years. No DCs but my job is not normally compatible with family life. For what it's worth we (me & DP) are planning on giving it a go as it is the perfect job for me but I'm not pregnant and we aren't planning on trying until late next year.

I work in a very male industry but my office is unusually female so it's not obvious/something I think about much. I am paid reasonably well and honestly don't believe that my manager or company has ever discriminated against me for my gender. Part of the reason I want to stay with them is that I have seen pregnant colleagues and parents (both genders) treated very well.

Over the past two years (from a few months in the job) my manager has asked me when or made jokes about when/whether I am pregnant. These come completely out of context as I am usually very careful to avoid any talk of children/babies - they always come if I talk about babysitting a friend's child but for instance I am waiting for a scan for a medical issue and a colleague asked about it this morning. Manager said, "Careful! You can't talk about a scan, everyone will think NCC is pregnant!" Colleague (male) screwed his face up and said he would never have made that connection. I said I wouldn't either and told manager (we get on very well - in the same jokey voice that he'd use) that he should be careful what he said or he'd open himself up for a tribunal.

It's the first time I've ever said anything like that because frankly I'm at a loss as to how to deal with it. I have tried ignoring it, shrugging, straight answers ("I'm not pregnant" - don't see WTF I should have to say this), telling him MYOB and asking him flat out "Well, when are you and your DP planning on having children?" (Answer was "We're not."). I did ask him why he keeps asking (the time before last - about four weeks ago) and he said the MD is very keen for me to stay in the company and always corners him at management dinners asking him when I am getting upduffed and leaving. This I can absolutely imagine as MD is very old-fashioned but my manager is quite young and relaxed.

As things are right now, I can keep batting him away and I don't imagine - from what I have observed - that I will ever be treated any differently should I get pregnant. But. I have read far too many threads on here! Is this a problem in peoples' experience? Threads about managers who ask these questions usually come with other things, i.e. bad treatment of parents at work, which is absolutely not the case in my team or company.

I have mentioned this to a couple of friends, who are horrified.

NCChristmas2014 Fri 05-Dec-14 18:38:57

Also, when we had the conversation about the MD and dinners he came out with the statement that I would be a SAHM. Actually DP will probably be a SAHD as he works part time already ... I had no problem telling manager this and did so, but I think he was trying to bait me to see what my reaction would be.

DontPushTheButton Fri 05-Dec-14 18:46:18

Hmm. Seems insensitive at best. What if you had fertility problems? I do think you need to tell him firmly, not jokingly, that if and when you get pregnant you will tell him. Until then he should shut his mouth. Does he ask the men when they are making their wives pregnant?!

NCChristmas2014 Fri 05-Dec-14 18:50:09

Nope - no questions of any of the men at all. He did ask a male colleague whether he was "on babysitting duty" that weekend when we were all in the pub together, which is the most sexist comment I've ever heard from him... but compared to most that's pretty mild!

There are a couple of men my age in the team but none in stable relationships. There's currently one other older woman who he wouldn't ask (she's past childbearing age). A handful of weirdos who I doubt/know don't have partners of either gender. One or two middle aged married men with children and a couple of gay blokes.

So no one in a comparable situation - therefore it could just be me. Manager tends to be quite a calculated person normally, which is why I find this weird.

CalicoBlue Fri 05-Dec-14 19:29:39

I suggest asking him for a private meeting and address it again.

Tell him that you had responded last time he asked and understand that the MD is asking. However your answer has not changed and you are now beginning to feel uncomfortable with the constant questions. Hopefully that will make him see that it is inappropriate to keep asking you.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 05-Dec-14 19:37:32

Good idea calico.

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