I was told “there’s no point you getting involved as you won’t be around for implementation of the project”

During my first maternity leave my work was great. I had input into selecting my maternity cover, was involved in all of my products right up to my last day and felt generally well treated. During my maternity leave my manager contacted me periodically to keep me up to date with the team and arrange keeping in touch days. The problems started when I returned to work. In my first meeting with my manager I was told that one of my staff would no longer be reporting to me and my job would now report up to a colleague on the same grade as me. Whilst my job description hadn’t changed it felt like a demotion. I was not as involved in the year end whereas in previous years I’d been the key contact and had to fight to get some elements of my work back from other members of my team. After a few months, one of my reporting staff resigned and I was the last in the team to find out, despite being her supervisor.

When I announced I was pregnant for the second time, my manager appeared supportive, but began immediately discussing maternity cover. The woman who would be covering my leave started a few weeks after I announced my pregnancy, 4 months before I was due to leave. She took over two of my projects and I was told “there’s no point you getting involved as you won’t be around for implementation of the project”. Even then I didn’t quite believe what was happening until a colleague on the same project announced she was taking a career break. There was no mention of her being removed from the project and it was then I realised it was solely down to my pregnancy. To make it worse, in my annual performance review I was told I needed to get more involved in projects outside of my core role, despite having being actively discouraged from doing so for months. In the last month of my work, I had nothing to do as my maternity cover had already completely taken over my job.

I wanted to take the matter further but as I was having complications with my pregnancy, my family and friends advised I let it go for now and just get to my maternity leave. I don’t want to return to this job now after how they treated me and can really only see the one option for resigning, meaning they’ll get away with this discrimination, and it makes me wonder how many other women in the company have probably gone through the same thing in the past.

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