Mums, have you suffered inequality in the workplace?

Mums, have you suffered inequality in the workplace?

Author:Michelle Williams

Disturbing new evidence shows that there has been an alarming increase in the number of pregnant women and new Mums who are being made redundant.

A study by the Equal Opportunities Commission back in 2005 found that half of all pregnant women suffered a related disadvantage at work, and that each year 30,000 women were forced out of their job.

But 13 years on, new evidence suggests that pregnancy and maternity discrimination is now more common in the UK workplace than ever before, with as many as 60,000 Working Mums and new Mothers forced out of their jobs in 2014.

As well as the financial and emotional implications of pregnancy and maternity related discrimination, the long-term consequences jeopardies women’s financial security for their whole lives. Women dismissed or discriminated against during pregnancy are less likely than other women to return to work after having a baby, with the impact lasting into retirement through lower pension earnings.

This was certainly the case for me, when I was forced out of my job after becoming pregnant in 1999.  I had just been promoted to a new senior position, when my employers suddenly ‘made me redundant’ after returning to work, following a few days hospitalization, after suffering a miscarriage.

My employers had previously been unaware of my pregnancy and in light of the new information that I planned to have a second child, apparently I was deemed no longer suitable for the role, or indeed the company, which I had devoted 10 years loyal service to.

I can honestly say that this was one of the worst times of my life, I cannot even begin to explain the feelings of loss and betrayal.  Not only had I just lost a much longed for baby, but now I had been robbed of the job I loved and been betrayed by people who I had admired and trusted.

My confidence and mental well-being took a bitter blow, which impacted nagatively upon my relationships with family and friends, but worse of all, it prevented me from being able to positively interact and engage with my 2 year old son, whilst I struggled to come to terms with the injustice and betrayal.

Although my employers were found guilty of Pregnancy related discrimination at an Employment Tribunal, my faith and confidence took such a knock that I never returned to the Corporate World again.

But, determined to turn something negative into a positive,  it was this horrible experience, that led me to abandon my corporate career in favour of pursuing my passion to start my own creative small business.

Now, almost 20 years on, I can honestly say that it was the best decision I ever made.  During this time, I have been able to create a business and life that I love, which I have been able to fit around the demands of raising my young family, which has been absolutely priceless.  

But the best thing is, that in doing so, I have discovered my true calling, which is helping other women, all over the world, to gain the same freedom and flexibility in their lives that I have been able to create.

So, If you’re a Working Mum, who has experienced bad treatment at work because you were pregnant or on maternity leave, please get in touch to share your experiences.

Or if you’re tired of the constant juggle of work and life and want to discover more family friendly working opportunities, please follow the links below to discover how you could start your own successful creative home business:

Start your own Baby Life Casting Business:

Start your own Keepsake Jewellery Business