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Marriage: a Career Obstacle?

A growing number of young married employees, especially women, are pretending to be single for fear that their married status will prove detrimental to their career, today's Shanghai Morning Post reported.


Zhou, a 29-year-old woman, has hidden her married status for several years. "I decided to do so because many of my friends lost chances for promotion just because they were married," Zhou explained. "I never wear my wedding ring at the office, nor do I put pictures of my husband and son in my wallet. I always associate with unmarried women at the office," she said, adding that marital status is a private matter, and that she didn't consider that she had done anything wrong.


Not only married women but also married men are pretending to be single.


Yan, a 25-year-old male employee, said he had no choice but to hide the fact that he was married.


"As the sales job takes me to many dinner-parties, I frequently return home late at night. When I discuss business with clients, they don't want anyone, especially a wife or girl-friend, to interrupt," Yan explained, adding that sometimes clients will not invite married men to their parties.


However, the disguise has its price. They cannot receive or make family calls at the office, nor can they take their colleagues home.


On the other hand, employers have their own reasoning. "If two female candidates have equivalent qualifications, and one is married but the other is not, I will definitely choose the single one, as married women display lower work efficiency when compared to single ones," said Zhang, a supervisor with a local company.


Fierce job competition has made people more cautious, and has also made them colder and more detached in their relations with colleagues, said an industry analyst.


(Shanghai Daily August 4, 2005)

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