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.