Time Off Costs A Woman's Career More Than A Man's

Your article "The mommy backlash" (The Workplace, Aug. 10) highlighted a problem with which professional women are already too familiar. In fact, I know of no professional woman who hasn't experienced either subtle or overt pregnancy discrimination.

Shortly before I delivered my second child, a professional man (and heavy smoker) at my company suffered a heart attack and did not return to work for about the same length of time I was out on maternity leave. During my leave, I was unwillingly transferred to a different department. I accepted it, however, and returned to a full schedule of 40-plus hours.

Although I later left that company, I know that for at least a year subsequent to this man's heart attack, my colleague worked only part time. But he kept his office and title--and, presumably, his salary, as well.

Nonetheless, compared with what other women have told me, my experience was pretty mild.

Eileen Icick

Silver Spring, Md.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.