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Two days after she informed her employer that she was pregnant with her first child, Joeli Brearley was sacked from her job by voicemail. She was four months pregnant and unemployed with bills to pay. Joeli considered taking legal action but then found out she was having a high-risk pregnancy and could go into labour at any moment. Her career and confidence were at rock-bottom and the health of her baby was in jeopardy.
Realising that her experience was not unique, Joeli launched Pregnant Then Screwed on International Women’s Day in 2015, as a space for mothers to share their stories of discrimination. The project quickly grew and today Pregnant Then Screwed is a charity dedicated to ending the motherhood penalty, supporting tens of thousands of women each year, and successfully campaigning for change.