Business Review - Oh, Baby Baby

Jul 22, 2021

Workplace discrimination makes for a stressful environment.  Kaylee Hackney, Assistant Professor of Management, studied pregnancy workplace discrimination and discovered how workplace stress can effect the mother.

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STUDIES SHOW THAT STRESS IS HARMFUL TO OUR HEALTH.  KNOWING THAT WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION CERTAINLY MAKES FOR A STRESSFUL ENVIRONMENT, KAYLEE HACKNEY, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT, WANTED TO FIND OUT HOW PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION IMPACTED THE HEALTH OF THE MOTHER.  “We found that perceived pregnancy discrimination led to increased stress for the woman, and then that stress then subsequently led to increased postpartum depressive symptoms for her.  Specific examples would be, maybe transferring her to a less desirable shift or assignments or even just those inappropriate jokes or comments that people make about her pregnancy at work.” “So the biggest surprise that we found in this study was mainly that idea that this perceived pregnancy discrimination not only impacted the woman, but it also impacted the baby that she was carrying while she was experiencing that discrimination. It impacted her baby in terms of lower birth weights, lower gestational ages, and even an increased number of doctor's visits for the baby.” MANAGERS ARE IN A UNIQUE POSITION TO A REDUCE A MOTHER'S STRESS AND PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS.  PROVIDING FEXIBLE SCHEDULES, ACCOMMODATING PRENATAL APPOINTMENTS, AND CREATING A SUPPORTIVE CULTURE ARE WAYS MANAGERS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.    “Managers need to be mindful of creating a culture that is supportive of pregnant women; also, where discrimination is not tolerated.  Support is going to look different for every situation and so I think just really establishing relationships with your employees and getting to know them and getting to know what they want.” BUSINESS REVIEW IS A PRODUCTION OF LIVINGSTON & MCKAY AND THE HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY.