Apparently I had broken an ‘unspoken contract between founders and investors by becoming pregnant’

I’m a 38 year old founder and CEO of a promising technology start-up. In April, I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. In June, when I was around 13 weeks, I communicated my pregnancy to my board. Initially, they were really supportive. My chairman even commented that this was the first time one of his founders had become pregnant and that we’d have to learn how to deal with things together. But in early September things completely changed.

I had an informal meeting with them to discuss the progress of the business as we were a few months behind schedule due to product delays. What started off as a positive meeting, ended with them saying a series of really inappropriate and hurtful things, including:

  • That I had broken an ‘unspoken contract between founders and investors by becoming pregnant’
  • That my investors would be wondering why I didn’t delay getting pregnant or wait until the business was further along
  • From a female board member – that she chose not to have children when she was growing her business and that this is what made her successful and the result is that she now has a really nice house
  • That they found it hard to believe that any investors would be supportive of following on if they knew I was pregnant (in response to me saying that some of them already knew and had said they would follow-on)

I was so stunned and saddened by this experience. It is all still very raw right now and I’m not certain what I will do in response.


Never Miss Out {{ responseTitle }}

Sign up to the Pregnant Then Screwed mailing list so you can stay in the loop on our latest campaigns and achievements as well as tips on how you can help end The Motherhood Penalty {{ responseMessage }}
Whoops. The form is invalid.
  • {{ value }}.