I am a senior exec with a major energy supplier in the UK. The company wins all kids of awards for women in leadership.
While pregnant I never took a day off for illness or any appointments. I travelled the world up until a few weeks before my due date.
I took 26 weeks mat leave and hired a contractor to cover my role during my leave.
When I returned the contractor had been given my job. I spent a year with no role. I documented everything. When I contacted HR they never got back to me. I spoke to a lawyer and was told I had a strong case.
I loved every moment of being a mum from the moment my son was born. I didn’t pursue the legal route as I didn’t want the stress of a lawsuit ruining the most amazing time of my life with my son and distracting the time I had with him.
I regret not standing up for myself though as this incident has had a negative impact on my career and my earning potential. However, at that time I needed to prioritise my baby.
The legal process is not set up to support women and a lot of the ”women in leadership” stuff promoted by big companies is just lip service. I will never forgive or forget and as a result my company has lost my respect and loyalty.