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Pregnant Then Screwed with Olga Fitzroy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Olga Fitzroy of Pregnant Then Screwed joins Allegra and Mo this week to talk about the issues facing women who have children during their careers and the way they can be sidelined, abused, or mistreated because they choose to bring life into the world! 

Hello, I'm welcome to reimagination atwork. This is the podcast where we aim to challenge all of your assumptionsabout theworld of work and everything you think you know about the workeplacein order to try and create a more diverse, incrusive way of doingbusiness, create a lot of worse that work. Fo everyone on your higest, myNameis Elego Chatman, I'm one of the CRO creators of watch this space and Ienjoyin o by my Gadeni Creator, my countelo hello, my. How are you doing?I'm Gon to Youiall Rightt Wek for Youquite Wayes, there's boalot going onso we've kind of we've got to Irmin at the AM Ot F that Ma I' oter twenty Weitmark. So this is the official point where I can kind of be like I hso YeahI've got. I got baby number to coming in well, allegimately, UNDOF FebruaryButon, previous corm. If the baby's ball before March I'll be amazed, ATSyeah, my children do not a right hole time so far and then, as we all peoplethat I know that have children, they also do something to do in moving orredoing Thait House. In those on sening Anser Yeah, I'm Ns Day, I mean well,we've talked about this on the podcast. Before that we thought everyone wasgoing to start moving because they wouldn't have to be yeah IA sittinganymore. They could wet Remai wot for anywere, so you and I a athing yes uean,I know seeyeah. Well, I mean we have officialy rid out space now, becausetwo kids in the current fla is not going to work yeah W. maybe it's aproper go in our house, which is crazy, so yeah I mean this week you may becoming existing toldner yeah, it's latle bit it's as Chao per and coosyeah, but yeah, it's mad- and you know I've been talking about aboutthis on sation, media and kind of talking about the what experience of being pregnant working, because I kindof expected it to be a bit different. This time around. I promise myself, Iwas gonna, have a less stressful. Second Pertency is the first one I waspretty stressful ver. I see a reasons that caarready Gointo, so I said I ohit'll be it'll, be Ne stressor, the second time around, so I go pregnantjuriors, bite, Consenni yeah and then told my biggest client that Iwas pregnant and a few days later they iterminated my contract, Thatwas Fun, O.Obviously the reason is budget might be true. I mean it. Wulde is a pademical.People are strucling for money, but you know it could be. It could be true, butos that I had a conversation with them a week before when they were talkingabout what a big Rolle I was going to pay in that future and thenliteally. I think five daysafter TELP MOS pregnant, they decided they didn't have enough money to carryon with me and they do have a was coming oun with all te mail free, LoYeah Ossay, familiar story that I've had om so rely friends and family whenthey say they tringan something happens and not not always in the beginning aswell, something quite often when theyre on return to leave. Suddenly their rolegets changed and something happens. A friend very recently watchesopportunity. Lea Guess Wat a man and took over a role and now he's got theJom and she's inside lined Thi Faly a familiar story. It S. When I had myfirst Wa o my first child was born in two thousand and eighteen, and I otentially naively believed that Ohit's different now is it's two thousandand eighteen everything's foingnow and the number o stories I had as okay. Ihaven't. I onre have many friends, you hade children at the time that you meetLiys, oother moms when Youk, when...

...you're pregnant and You'e having a baby and somebhody. Iwas hearing all these stories of people being pushed out of the jobs, leasing,thet jobs, bing matotorms, an whater Etelisity, an whate in this kind ofthing, and so it hasn't changed. It o nothing's anydifferent I's. You know yeah it's and it, but you said her's something wherehappens. wher people announce t their paren that their employees suddenly seethem in entirly different lights, and that was a real shock to me. I wasn't Iwasn't prepared for that at all. Then I didn't wasn't aware that that was still happening. So it's a real short and itcome something bou become reallyreally interested in and it's a you know, big part of what we do,which the space is looking aut the situation for women in general andhow you know how I' gender Streesin Bout Ais, but parent Hiran Stremaryouhave this. You know the invitation. I got to getlooked out very differently in h in the woreplace and then tuse in a verydifferent way when they made out decition tap. Children is why we wantedto speak to you todays, who is alte bittor, who loks after policy andpublic fairs, the amazing thiete baed than screed. It just been such an increedibly,important resource for for women and pregnant women, and you mothers, youknow dealing with they wet t fissues in the workplace. So Oh this ank Ye. Somuch for to be with us. How are you doing how o having me o not too bad? You know just workingfor a charity in the middle of a pandemic, whilt also eanswer in thecreative industry. So you know tobrazhe Ig, I so quite squeet from somebody, my enew. Actually last week, the kid frame of this cream was mentioned by TracyBrow in the House of Commons, and it said you know the nower stop being Bordof hearing word: Prain Thens, reat s Mo of Commons yeah we're making a bit of noise andparliament at the moment yeah, and it's sad that it's necessary, but my Godduing this pandemic calls her a healtline of increase the amouof womangetting in touch with us. It's just been crazy. Ey Tell us a little bit about prignantthats Grad in the work that you guys do. So we are a charity and we are set upto fight discrimination in the workplaceagainst mothers. So were there to end the motherhood penalty, which, forthose are not familiar with the concept, it is the financial and career penaltythat mothers pay when they have children. So by the time a woman'schild is age. Twelve, the JENNIPOGAP between her and her male colleague isthirty three percent, so that iswow, that is really shocking. yeareally is athen Yo. Meyou mentioned a little bit about Te. The pandemic an what's beenhappening there ths the has been, and we've talked a little I about this, buthas been a really disproportionate impact on women in general. The Te mothers moreso- and he tells a little bitabit about that and about the the stories thatyou've been hearing from people who've been been coming to you foolt yeah. SoI think it's probably those two las to this. One is a lot of the sectors thatare most impacted, like retail and hospitality, o sectors that arepredominantly stuff by women. So there's that aspect of it, but thenthere's also tomirews care aspect. So when the schools closed, women took onthe lion share of childcare and domestic duties and then you've got good old fashioned,vius indiscrimination, yeah yeah. Why? This is the thing that I canI struggle with, and I doN'ta this is a big question to Os Butd. You have anykind of ideas to why itis the employers do havethis bias against pregnant women and mothers, and you know whay. It is thewhen, when a difficult situation I this Histayand, they are the ones thatare.Seeing is expensible oall the ones that...

...iportis Arl wanting to keep on. I thinksome of it is to do with the people that are in charge. The goatkeeperstend to be males of a certain generation and so they're going to beinfluenced by their own upbringing again if they grew up quite a lot longtime ago, itwas likely their mothers didn't work. So they've got all thosebices they just kind of brought up with. Some of it might also just be lack ofknowledge and doing what's easy. If you Sart somding go, Oh God, I don't knowhow to deal with these pregnant people. I don't know what theyr rights are.That's just sideline them butits much easier. I can understand what happenswhen you've just got an employe with no commitenments who can just ton up towork. So there's probably a bit of lazinessin Flay Yeah, and I think I think often people women are justdiscriminated against because they're, perhaps not in a position to defendthemselves and stand up for their rights. So, as you mentioned before,some of those stories of discrimination that you've heard might happen not justwhen the woman is pregnant and Atwork, but also once she's, on maternity leaveand not in the office and then perhaps she's got a lot ofthings on her mind because she's just given both to a human and probablyisn't sleeping at all. So that's the point of also whichthings can happen and the woman's not in a position to stand up for herrights or defend herself or she's too tired to fight esiay in mentally. Soall those things kind of come together, yeah its Liin, thats, you're, sohardily vulnerable. At that point, when you've had a baby and you'R you're, notin the office, so you're not seeing what's going on, you are not. You knownot part of these conversations every day and your exhaustis and you knowphysically mentally emotionally drained, and then you know, Lik I'v Pe Speken toa lot of women who have known theyv had a case Ogo therapot es theyv know theycould have taken them to a tribedal. They know they could probably Av ain itto the cleaness, but having the the energy and the strength to fight atthat point is so difficult and the system is not set up to support peoplewho are in that situation, R, that you know it's a real ophill battle to tryand take your employer to a Tribunean and try to fight it and you'r really insuch a vulnerable position. Ohonestly, it's just the last thing that you wantto deal with yeah en the system is actually set up. Like you say, it'sreally stepped against women in that situation, because you have a threemonth time limit in which you can actually bring a tribunal. Yeah, Oh, ifyou imagine the three months, either from being pregnant and discriminatedagainst, Ol f them, giving both and being discriminated against. It'sreally, unlike that you're going to have the just mental and physicalresources to fight the case. So one of our asks that we've been campaigningfor for a long time is to extend the tribunal time limit to six months ormore, and in fact the women in Equality Select Committee recommended this. Intheir report, but of course the government has done nothing yeah and Ithink that's the thing I've seen the made with friend an the family is it'swhen to people of Hav, their baby and their own matanityly, and probably notgetting that much sleeve, and then that's when they get a message orsomething from their employer say you know we need to have a chat about yourwrong with. You know, we're making this change and when you're not in theworkplace, and you get any message rike, that he h, anxiety, hike, causes orsomebody WHO's already dealing with lack of sleep, and you know lookingafter a new human to Tet tat, Wat, Omter Happan. I think it's just so unthoughtful and enjoyers and I've seenit happen. So many times it's been quite IANLING. How often I've seen thathappen? What is it? Is it unfhoultfulor? Is it well? Is it Ke advantage of Youo ing, Yeah Yeah,because then you don't have that awkwardness in the office Dou it'sappes, yeah yeah and mean you know you a're not really going to be able tofight it. They may that they con't probably get away with it, because youwill just yeah give in exactly yeah, so few cases reach tribunal. I mean it'salmost impossible to get legal aid for...

...a tribunal, the odds ser just steppedagainst women. In this situation, you know we're doing our best kind of fightthat we have a mentorship program where we have women who have been through thetribinal process, support women that are going through it. So it's not thesame as having a lawyer with you, because, obviously that's quiteexpensive, but it is a huge support for women just to have someone who's intheir corner yeah. Definitely that the just just knowing someone's behind youyeah such a difference. wher you how this you know, potentially really bigcorporation bearing down on you. Just knowingsomeone's in your corner is a Hanto ELP, yeah Wel, tat, tecommin Bos withpregnanis grade, so I came through it from a selfemployed perspective, so I'm selfemployed sand engineer in my dayjob and in two thousand and fifteen. When I had my son, I was kind of reallyexcited to take a bit of time off, but then get back to work and do shareparental leave with my husband, but because I was self employed. Womanshoparental leaf does not exist for USS, so I started a campaign called theSelfie Leaf Campaign to get share or and to leave for selfemployed peopleand that kind of led me into the campaigning space and I actually metJoli from frevent and screwed online and we had a scupchat at the verybeginning of my campaign and we've just kind of kept in touch ever since sosheis supported my campogn. I do a lot of the selfemployed work for Presdentand screwed and through my campaign I've also gained a lot of politicalcontact, so I've kind of used that and I'm now doing it for pregnant andscrewed as well. THAT'S AMAZING HHAVE! You seen ICAUSISO mentioned. Ido not ev Thoutwenite nowthousand an twenty Houn iown. You know, I know sorthings, a change. If you have you seen in the time that you've been doing, Iha Arnd work and the time that you can workin with with your Campaan, I'm winPrii, this creef Yo. Have you seen much changing h? You think things areimproving to be honest with you, I'm not surethey are. I think women are becoming more aware of their rights, but it isnot becoming easier to enforce those rights. I think again, there are a lot ofpoliticians like it mentioned, Select Committee report that makes a lot ofrecommendations that we would support in. The Select Committee has peoplefrom old parties on it, but unfortunately, women have just in thepast few years, and particularly in this pandenic they've been sidelinedand policy. MOKING onlyve probably seen a lot of the announcements to do withthe pandemic. Women are an afterthought childlon afterthought and we've also had the suspension ofgender pegap reporting. So at the moment we've got no way of judging ourprogress, but given the rate of redondancy among women, I fear thatit's going to set us back in terms of gender paygap by years and years and othe. You guys are making Qire ofnoise about the the need when it was local. Lo Down being enforced for childcame yeah ild had to be examen from that, and that was a huge issue for me,because my mother looks after our little girl and that was always kind offact into our plans, because nursreally full time Nasrery, really expensive andespecially in central Bretennow Howe, live Ou know it wasn't really Notton Lokthat the arrangement has always been them. You know my mother would hooveafter our daughter and then when o down her and she wasn't able to come aroundsuddenly we were well. You know. How can we work if we can't get Chalaron?And you know I know that was a big thing for you. You pisseion actuallyTak said now that informanc o he rel is just fantastic yeah. It was great. We achieved theOUTOHR turn on that, but I mean it's amazing that that wasn't announced witha lot y measures and again I just feel it's because you have a bunch of veryprivileged men who are making those decisions who either have never had toarrange any child care or them...

...arranging. Child care involves textingthe Naly yeah. It just feels that we're always an afterthout, but we're reallypleased. We have support from a lot of MPs that wrote to the Health Secretaryso that on the Monday he actually announced that informal childcarde wasexemt from the local Lokdand, which was great news, yeah, a d that wasBrilliantse Ecaus. I remember Qite early on in the lockdown. There was somemeasures announced about opl that could come around and it was so telling itwas like you can have your cleaner and your Nany Ye L. I don't know any onthat. APER NANNY YOU NOO is. He just shows the people that are Mak AGdecision, an what their lives are like and how unaware they are and how therest of the world lives and ther thetar priorities, because it you don you canhave you can have your pan or your Nata. You can have formal childcare that youcan't have a family mal yeah around to care for your child, hes that you canhave a childminder, Yo might be paring, for you know, tell e Gilon makes nosense yeah and again the support that they've, given the nursery and childcare sector is just completely inadequate, which news of closures orimminent closures. That again, is just going to disproportionately affectwomen when we come out at this candenic Yeah Bori Joson. At one point I think,was being asked in the house of comments about how the when we were in fulllocked out abouthow the issues with with Baccesto chilhow we're going to impar parents-and he just said Oh well, employers will have to be sensisto. You know hasto be understanding about the needs of parents to manage thei child a likeyeah sure, bause, thats, O Mareaow, so ill definitely be fine. Now an justhonestly star out of touch with what the actual situation is like. I knowit's ridiculous. This reliance on the good will of employers is just notpracticall. It just doesn't bear out with what we see in the real world. Welove understanding, employes, they're, brilliant, but that's not all employersmm yeah. Well, it's something like fifty four thousand women who usethenjers every year because of maternity and d pregnancydiscrimination. So the idea that, if they're getting rid of that many womenin normal times that during a pandemic Wer, then you know wer struggling thatthey're going to suddenly become extra sensitive o. The needs of mothers isjust living on a different plane, yeah Ye, H, N. it's just reallydepressing because you know those figures are out. Ther MPs receive overythings. Their offices have these figures, so it's just a case of thegovernment not prioritizing this. They do know the numbers they're justchoosing not to act on it. Yeah, do you think Macausi? I have a sery which might be Wa a a? U. My to theory is that Sha,the government is mostly written by men who don't think that mothers should beworking. So actually a lot of this is engineered to stop amd being able towork yeah I mean I'm not sure iwould givethem enough credit to enginee or something like that do believe that quite a lot of themcome from backgrounds where it is unusual for women to work, and theyquite like that kind of setup. Yeah Yeah, yes, e e, have children ha wastheitycos decision, it's not kind of have kids it do have you heard. Do you thinkhat many difference to your career, not having children? That's really yeahthat sane interesting one to Tei about wicise. Prior to the LASTO couple of years Iwert to in Corporate World Tho I was IU IV been in sales. Sal is a career whereyou need to go o in the morning and be on planes. Trytos travel go around theworld a lot, and I very rarely encounted other women in my field. Inmy profession, because of the demand of it, of being away from home and late,nine, etc, Ecras, it's a very bloky culture and very few women in thatfield, and actually I don't try to think if I ever encountered any womenwith children in mine, atentially sort...

...of Readingso seem roll, very rare andthen in the corporations. It generally. So in the one I workd an an the ones wedealt with, the management teams were completely mel dominated you might geteboards a or director whose a woman, maybe sometimes in some some of theseels. You might see people, but mostly not, and I fhil, if that it would be very hard to do those kindsof roles and the demands of those roles with Ghildren and Tanar days and right.I think generally, the fact that those roles demands that so much of your lifeisn't a way to live. Is Why don't do anymore? Because you are, you know,you're commuting you'R flying. I was going to you know of to America for aweekexcention where's, your life in that, which is why I stopped doing mostand no, we dn give you any flexibility. Aroundnoyeah, not re. I mean therisothere is with those wols. You know you can woar some home and thers kindsof things, because you ill spending somur ot your life away, but generally,I don't think that you could do a role like that and have young childrenunless you're really wealthy and have you know, Havean, Nany, etc, but thenOrgu believe you're choosing to do lis lit's the decision that you're oing tomake to be away from them. So it's an interesting thing to think about, and II knew you ben asking this, so I was trying to think whether any women Ithink of that had children and in the leutl in the senior legiship team. Inthat team there were very few women with children. There were some otherwomen in that team. I coun, maybe only think of one or two you had childrenand the ones that did their children ere olderst. I wonder if they progressto those well as later on, and I think that's something that you know we talkabout. We imaginatou work at of PODCAST and reimagining the world of work and Ithink the Muntil, the world of work is reimagine, so the wor doesn't meantaking over your whole life, we're not going to see those fundamental changesand what that means is we need more women, starting companies, runningteams. You know thinking about these things so that wo isn't about sittingwhat your deak, for you know nine hours a day or flying on a plane to provethat you can do a job, its somhit's, about something different for youranter there, but that's kind of my thoughts on it yeah. I wonder how manywomen are. You know how stert of having to make that decision of whether theywant to progress on these sorts of careers or whether they need to havehigh, feel juk yeah? I think they do and then I think there are otherinvications for hom as well. I think the women that have have a break havechildren and then come back to the world work and then treat itdifferently to Thatri al about actually it's about women at age. I think andthenved very differently and I think, there's a bias there n, the men I theworld of workthin what she doing here she shouldn't be at. Why isn't she? Youknow what she diw at wo, what she doing on the evening out when you know theyviuwst these women differently, as as they get older as well. So it's notjust US women who are having children. I think there's a penalty like runerswern that they get treated differently and and life is harder. Sorry, don'tGreat Mestat ut! I think it's true. I think that women as they approach theMiddle Age, who will have may a brain, have children buts. So what they've hadnos o different experiences, which they can then bring to a workwase, but theydon't bet treated about that is begain, because we only have certain people inChearge, it's frustrating with that life experiences and values, and thatgrassive experience in college is actually sort of you know, starting toecide, because, oh what you're just the mother now you just had kids Andyo. Youknow somehow you less of a person because of Thai mean the organizationrequired to have young children, srurly thats, some massive valus workplacesYdo. We not when I see people that have you know a couple of young children. 'My God! How do they do all these thing? Yo Get timeaagmentgood organizationalplaing ogy in terms of getting this to changeand in and sort of helping businesses to adacto the way that they think aboutmothers and Whatri is e, only advice...

...that you can give it te pro is about.You know W at what they could be be doing differently, what you know howthey could be improving, H, their workeys, I'm an a very simple level. Iguess it's being aware of yow responsibilities as an employer andthen just really general principles of kind of understanding, respectboundaries, communication, the things that you would apply with any otheremployees that often seem to break down. When you have people returning to work,I mean, I don't think you can expect a hundred percent performance if you'repaying somebody there to be there four days a week, yet you're giving him theworklode of five days a week. I mean it sounds basic, but these are the sort ofthings that we paries an come across. Ind, presnant and screwed actually runa coaching program called gendering change, where returners can get coachedin how to best manage their return, but also companies can get coached ontheirlegal responsibilities is an unconscious bias, training and justways, and how to sort of best do best practice on getting women back to work,getting mothers back to work and promoting them and retaining them inthe workforce. At's amazing! So what's next OmerkinThi Screen? What are you working on in the futural with everything that'sgoing on right now? Well, at the moment, we are waiting with baited breath as towhether we will be granted a judicial review. On a case, we would like tobring against the government on the selfemployment income support schemediscriminating against women because, as you might know, if you are womanthat has taken maternity leave in the past three years, then your averageincome, which is used to calculate your selfemployment support, will be lessthan if you are a man who hasn't taken. Mat leave so on those grounds werebringing a judicial review, because the government, when they've beenquestioned on it Hav said Oh well, matonty leave is just like being onholiday or being off sick, and we all know that. That's not true, so we'rereally hoping that we will get granted a traditional review and get to takethe government to cook. We Really Really Worr e Hok. I, like honestly, Iobviously everyone listening car seen be fiing my head on the table, your first Idid it Maleisa holiday Iwoul,like Toi'l Tellyo, wo, 'd like to do to them to thatbut yeah I mean it was inmy cass, it's Toti. It's siy different bu T it's still kind of a bit. I can't describe any of the way compuediscrimination because I actually I became so inpluine I wo thousand andeighteen just after my daughter who was Bor and I Wen they were, they announced asominor employed came. I thought I brilliant ISS fantastic, because I'mgointo ive, you know had Attash tag that year. It's fine! I had an SOT, Imean it is, I think, requiring people to have had more. The christic sent ofther an romself employed in that year is, you know, really difficult thing,because it there's a huge chat between Theyour, wo thousand and eighteen tweinteen, ten Inan, what's happening in the middle of Wor, the ends now twothousand and twenty ands a lot of people who went soutempoyed in the timeit missed out on suppo because of that fifty percent roa just es, but Idotally having a com off on Poyce in the last coster wo thouand a aighteen andjust made sligt EOL money, prines employment that I have from my previousemployment. So I just about quotifyer, I ten go Tus quotifi because of mytenity a so I took my metanity benefit from the time that I was having mydaughterthese three months and between me, leaving my job and and going SOMFand police pin me avideage and it because they caut those earning employedening Ho they're, not taxable, even though Yeah Ou Knoay by the government.It's not earn is crazy. It was benefit ocom by universal credit. Interestinglyyeah, a Ne that pushed me over the edge of abig just over the fifty percent...

...pressure. So I don't calify for is portand Andyou know again it's one of these things that happen. You Know How muchenergies d you have to fight it, because I'm yeah trying to keep my business a playertrying to survive and get you know the money that I need to subite anyway.Last taking a put in my time, ou now Bernin with the other ones, who hasexoting still trying to look ofs to the Tople, a Exi Ting sets, and you knowwhat have a change if you got to fight it n. At the moment you Kno, I want tosee very little so yeah, I'm really really hopeful that you guys will beYeah Bri, O pes, because I think that's so Iwasin there isn't anoather Ecesratpure discrimination. There'SN is no wether word for it yeah absolutely, andthey even changed it quite recently to allow women that had been on Matlev intwo thousandan eighteen nineteen and not submitted a tax return to beeligible, so they knew they were doing something wrong. Yeah prepare to coughup. Basically, so I really hope that they find in ourfavor yeah. Hopefully I will be watching yeah eahwe, we KEEPG vything crossbe. Howcan how CON PEOPLE GET ITTOUCHD with you? How can people find out more aboutprennants gration then get involved on putting the way that Youre Day, so ourwebsite is ww, pregnant and screwedcom and there's pages where you can donate.Also, if you've been affected, you can share your stories anonymously Virawebsite. We also have a support line. An employment L lawyer. That's a freehelp line and we also have the Employment Tribunal mentorship. So ifyou are going through Employment Tribunal, then n please get in touchbecause we can assign you a mentor to support you through it. That's pretty inteesting, Oh Thi, a youso much fair! TAKING HE TIME STRANG! He Rey, appreciate it and you're doing it's so important and youknow say by people say: Keep Up, keep up the great work. Yeahs you so muchthanks guys, I thinkngso this has been rear, much nation at work. We are watchthis spaceis. You can find out more information about US and Ol Lots ofresources to help you on your journey to are more incluasive and orverse.workcase a watch the space to UK. You can follow us on all of your favoritesocial media channels at watch this SPC weere on Ligeton Linktincom FoatCompany for sat what this P Python C. A everything h, the next episide WILLSEOU.

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