I was so scared by the lies they said they’d tell

my job was part in charge of women’s rights in the company. I was promoted for the third time in two years, after winning some awards, and took that opportunity to request equal pay to my male equivalents. I had given the company the benefit of the doubt as to why I was on half- half- their pay because of my “meteoric” rise but it was time to address the balance.

I was fired. I was told in my exit interview that I had annoyed HR by being too “pushy” about my salary and though it was acknowledged to be half my equals’ (at which point the firer had the nerve to tell me whimsically about feminism) my boss had decided it wasn’t their responsibility and so was ‘letting me go’.

I fought it with all my might under the equalities act, but there were no witnesses and the company told me straight it would deny everything. Due to the stress I was under in negotiations, having been fired for no reason, worried about my mortgage and terrified about my career, it appears the mini pill did not work (or I forgot to take it, I don’t know still what happened) and I became pregnant. I only found out the day after I signed the settlement agreement which I signed because the lies the company would tell about me could have stopped me working again. I am now pregnant with a very small settlement, and no prospects of a new job until after my maternity leave, had I had one, would have ended. My career is screwed. And I was really good at it. I also have the shame of knowing that I wish I fought them. For women everywhere I wish I had fought them. I was so scared by the lies they said they’d tell, but. If I had known I was pregnant, I would have done.