I was a Marketing Manager for a large company and the only woman in a team of 8 when I left on maternity.
While I was on maternity I was demoted and put in line with people who had previously reported into me. I fought for months (starting when my baby was two months old) while I was on maternity to get the company to acknowledge what had happened and to give them the chance to rectify. At a last attempt I actually applied for my role when they started advertising for it. I was told I didn’t have the skills.
I returned three months later than I wanted to, due to waiting for the company to provide me with my new job profile. Once I was back to work I realised they were never going to rectify the situation so I resigned and followed the correct internal process, I raised a grievance and waited for the outcome. The whole grievance process took longer than three months so when I came to seeking legal advise I was told I could be out of time. I decided to raise an employment tribunal case anyway and it was only then the company seemed to take notice of me.
Unfortunately I have just settled on a sum offered by the company for me to keep quiet. If there wasn’t the risk of my case failing on the the three month rule and if it didn’t cost so much to take them to court I would have taken it further and I would have won based on the evidence I have. The system is letting everyone down, not just women but men too. We will all suffer if women are forced out of the work place for keeping the human race going.