After returning from maternity leave my role had changed drastically

I was the head of the department of one of the regional offices at a multi-national engineering consultancy.

After returning from maternity leave after the birth of my first child, although I still had the same job title and salary, my role had changed drastically.

I wasn’t now allowed to make any kind of decision before consulting with a more junior member of staff. I wasn’t allowed to allocate work, manage any staff or make any bidding or project decisions. I wasn’t allowed to attend meetings without the junior member of staff being present. I was also told by my manager that the more junior member of staff was very worried about my return to work and that I had to make sure to be very careful around him.

Essentially, my role and position were demoted, even though in theory, I wasn’t.

I very much enjoyed my job and was looking forward to returning to the workplace.

I did not however enjoy being devalued or discriminated against. I resigned after 6 months and set up my own business. I didn’t take any action against my former employer as I thought it would be very difficult to prove and if it became known that I was a ‘troublemaker’ I would find it very difficult to find future employment.