unless we stand and demand to have the rights (hard won by others) actually implemented, they mean nothing at all

I applied for a role in the council where I worked, I took voluntary advice from the HR department because at that time i was 4 months pregnant. The HR department told me that this had no material impact on my application and that i should continue with the process and not declare the pregnancy. When i was offered the job (now 5 months pregnant and though i am slight build i made NO effort to hide the little bump) at this point i did reveal the pregnancy and the manager concerned tried to back track even through i clearly had been successful in a competitive process. The HR department backed me up! I’m not advocating this, but i do want to send a message to other women to fight their corner. I took up the job, I was hugely successful in the role. Highly committed and achieved all career grade reviews with ease. I stayed in the role for around 6 years (in that time i also had a second child) and in time gained the trust and full support of all the managers concerned (even those who had tried to end the appointment). I also noted in my time that male colleagues with children were given a much easier time when they needed to take time off to look after children than i was even though i think this amounted to maximum 2 days a year and they were taking weeks at a time. Maybe they were dispensable! It’s not easy, but unless we stand and demand to have the rights (hard won by others) actually implemented they mean nothing at all. Maybe by showing them that i really was the best candidate for the job it also paved the way for other young women to join the team (which they did overtime and were also great assets).

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