Nothing is wrong with wanting to put in someone who can work the hours as a senior consultant. It is a consulting firm after all and the business needs a lot of hours. But it was not actually a fair thing to present to a woman, especially to someone who is trying to have children. It makes it look like having children would impede in one’s work. Yes, the work needs hours but it doesn’t mean that Rebecca cannot work as good as the person who can put in hours. More important than being able to put in hours is one’s competency in the said job.
If the person can put in more hours but his work is mediocre, what good would it be? The longer hours would just be spent to catch up instead of to start ahead. Although there is nothing wrong with promoting someone who can put in the hours, but it was a discriminatory statement when said to a woman. The statement actually highlights the fact that even if women are accepted in the workforce, they are still given unjust conditions that are not given to men.
It would be different if you say the same statement to a man. For a women, telling her that the company wants someone who can put in the hours is tantamount to saying, as a woman who is trying to bear children, and as a mother, you cannot juggle work and being a mom at the same time. It is also synonymous as not being able to manage one’s time. And this is very discriminating. What should be more important is to put someone competent and valuable enough who can deliver results instead of just putting in hours.
If the person is competent enough, he would not need to put in more hours since the work is done already within the specific time frame, or even lesser. In this scenario, Rebecca is described to be a very successful career woman. She has an MBA degree and she is an industrious worker. She loves her job, which is an added motivation for performing well in her job. If she was not performing well, she wouldn’t be called to advise her that she is being considered for the senior consultant position.
As was stated, the company was very pleased with her performance. This alone should have been enough as it showed her competencies and that she can perform as well being a senior consultant. When she was told that they were considering her for the senior consultant position, then asked what her plans are for the future since she was planning on getting pregnant, it delivered a blow to the offer. Rebecca was right, it looked like she was being asked to choose between her career and being a mother.
With this, I believe that Rebecca should consider well what her company wants her to become. Would the company want her to become successful as their consultant or not? Because if they really believed in her capabilities, they would help her and guide her in being able to balance her time. Although it is her primary responsibility, a company concerned about the welfare of their employees would do this. I think Rebecca needs to re-evaluate the values and the opportunities she can get with her company.
If they are making her choose between her career and her being a mother, it is best to bail out as the company is only thinking about their own welfare. There is no compromise for someone that is of value to the company. If the company is able to see her worth, then there would be no inhibitions in giving her the job. But since she’s a woman wanting to get pregnant, it undermined her capabilities, which is very discriminating.
I suggest that Rebecca think well if she really wants to stay in such a company. She should also put them on the spot just as they put her on the spot. She can bargain her capabilities, she doesn’t need to put more hours than what was needed, since she can do the job within her regular hours. If she can bargain, then I suggest she stays but still re-evaluate her feelings towards her job, whether she can still be happy with them.