Organizational Work-Family Policies and Hiring Discrimination Against Women and Parents
There is significant evidence that organizational work-family policies—such as parental leave, subsidized and on-site childcare, and flexible scheduling options—can have positive consequences for workers. At the same time, some theories posit that an unintended consequence of supportive work-family policies is that they may lead to perceptions of women and parents as being more costly employees, both financially and in terms of disruptions to the flow of work. Thus, organizations with more generous work-family policies may be less likely to hire workers that are more likely to utilize work-family policies, discriminating against women and parents. We examine this possibility using an original dataset that matches estimates of hiring discrimination from a field experiment with detailed information about the organizational work-family policies at the companies in the field experiment. We do not find evidence of a direct relationship between organizational work-family policies and discrimination against women, parents, or the intersection between being a woman and being a parent. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for scholarship on gender, work, and family.