You won’t want to work hard when you get back to work: you’ll be a mum

My annual review, just 6 weeks before maternity leave started. I spoke with my director about my plans, and ambitions, for when I returned to work in 6 months time. I knew I was ready for promotion, and if I hadn’t been taking a break my review would have been ending with a big “congratulations” and a pay rise. Instead I was told by my (older, male) director: “…well just remember you’ll be a mum when you get back. All you’ll want to do is come in, do the minimum and get back to your baby”. I pointed out the baby wouldn’t be coming to work with me (!) so how could he say my performance, drive or goals would be affected?

His answer? “Well just see how you feel, but believe me: you won’t be bothered with it all”.

Part of me thinks “WHY bother? Just do the minimum like he’s expecting for an easy life”. But I dread to think how many women have been held back from success and achieving more because they haven’t felt able to stand up to this kind of attitude and prove their bosses wrong.