The prospect of promoting a pregnant woman was simply not an option

I was a Reporting Analyst for a procurement outsourcing company. I had built so many templates for our most successful reports, I sold our teams’ services to visiting clients, I deputised to the manager and went above and beyond my job description; and I loved it, I loved my job. I was working towards a promotion and more and more responsibilities were given to me, and I juggled it all while completing my day-to-day work. I announced I was pregnant and not long after, my manager announced he was leaving the company. It made perfect sense for me to step into his role, I had been pretty much doing it anyway. I’m an organised, passionate professional, I would have arranged a watertight maternity cover. But the prospect of promoting a pregnant woman was simply not an option, in fact they delayed releasing the position and re-wrote the job description so that I would be unsuitable. While it was delayed they wanted me to keep running the team, for the same money and having told me in no uncertain terms that I would not get the job. But they also took many of my responsibilities off me and farmed it between two (male) team members whom they were grooming for the position. I watched as everything I had been working so hard on, was destroyed. They lost the company money and important clients through their incompetence but still it continued and it broke my heart, I was so dedicated to our work.
That company had 12 board members, only one was a woman and she was the HR Director. That’s how they do it, they give just one of you the honoured position by their side, but your job is to clean up their messes. Sexual harassment, racial discrimination, general belligerent boy club behaviour was rife, and the only people who had to deal with it and the consequences; the women in HR, protecting the company’s interests i.e. the big boys right to behave however they please. Luckily my husband earns just enough for me to stay home and take care of our daughter. I didn’t return after my maternity leave, I raised a grievance which would barely have touched the culprits, maybe an uncomfortable email or meeting. There are successful, rich men out there; getting job offers and praise, grinning on their LinkedIn profile pictures, taking four holidays a year and voting for a government that will protect their interests and dismantle the NHS and introduce benefit sanctions that create a surge in the homeless population, and they never have to see it. It never touches them.
I brought a daughter into this world.

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