Like many working professionals, I’ve spent the better part of the past year and a half working remotely. And over that period, I’ve realized how many remote meeting standards amplify the bias against working mothers. Just a few weeks ago, for example, I was in a Zoom meeting when one of the members—a notably single, child-free white man—suddenly interrupted the conversation to chastise two women whose children were fussing in the background.
Afterward, an email circulated calling for new meeting standards to minimize distractions and replicate an in-person workplace. Dumbfounded, I pushed back. In the age of remote work, background noise is to be expected—whether it’s a barking dog, a honking car, or a crying baby. But the only distractions cited in this email related to childcare.