I’m dealing with men pushing me back down, to benefit other men

Just before my maternity leave ended, I received an email from my boss letting me know that he wished to retain the guy who replaced me during my leave, and therefore split my role in 2 (on paper), for both of us to apply to the role we prefer. If we both wanted the same role, then he would decide who should get what “based on performance”. There was never any chance I would get my old job back:

  • In reality, my “old” role all went into one of the new roles, whilst the other role is so reduced in scope and responsibility that it would be more appropriate to an employee 2 ranks below mine. I have filled my boss’s role on an interim basis before he was recruited, so I can’t see how someone who can perform one level up is given a role 2 levels down.
  • My “old” role spec also includes “must haves” that my boss knows I do not have.
  • I worked for my boss for about 3 months before going on maternity leave – my previous boss, who would have been the only one to vouch for my performance, has left the business. And anyway, how can I compare a performance that is a year old, to the performance of someone who has worked there for a whole year in “recent” memory?
  • I am just about to hit my 2 year anniversary in the business, obviously putting me at great risk of being dismissed if I did return to work any time before that (and I have had colleagues dismissed like that, so it is a real risk in this company).

All along, my boss has never asked me how I am, how my baby is, how I feel about all this (he said he only looks at it from a “resources perspective”), that he wants me in his team. No empathy, no apologies, no nothing. In his world, this is the only way to go about it to ensure he’s “being fair”.

I am lucky enough to be able to pay for a lawyer who is helping me navigate through this – I’m at the stage where I’ve raised a formal grievance to HR (who has advised my boss all along, so will not be on my side). But one thing is obvious: I’m dealing with men pushing me back down, to benefit other men. And they’re all happy to be part of it. Disgusting.

PS: I work for a UK company that sits comfortably within the top 50 companies listed on FTSE100. Being part of a large business who pretends to be all about employees doesn’t protect anyone from discrimination from individuals with no morals.


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