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Mum's not the word when it comes to workplace

By Joeli Brearley

Published 21/05/2016

Twice as many mothers under the age of 25 (15%) report feeling under pressure to hand in their notice on becoming pregnant
Twice as many mothers under the age of 25 (15%) report feeling under pressure to hand in their notice on becoming pregnant

As all women understand, revealing the fact that you are pregnant to your employer can be one of the most nerve-racking moments in your career - and for good reason.

We know that the moment women become pregnant, the chance of them being discriminated against rockets. And, if you are a young mother, the risk is even higher.

Twice as many mothers under the age of 25 (15%) report feeling under pressure to hand in their notice on becoming pregnant. Around 6% of under-25s said they were dismissed after informing their employer of their pregnancy, compared with an average of just 1% for all pregnant women at work.

Women are still, in 2016, the primary care-giver for children. It is heartbreaking, devastating, to see that young mothers are victimised, exploited and prevented from succeeding by our male-centric culture.

Reducing discrimination and making employment work for mothers is good for society, good for productivity, good for companies and good for families.

These young women are full of potential, that, if recognised and mobilised, could be a huge asset to any organisation.

Instead, as a culture, we appear to be okay with bullying, harassing and victimising young women when they are at their most vulnerable, crushing their confidence and killing any chance of a career.

As the Equality and Human Rights Commission launches its digital campaign, #powertothebump, to help young and new mothers know their rights at work, they should have the confidence to stand up for what they deserve. Telling their story means women can raise awareness, so we can demand recognition, respect and change.

When a woman is pregnant, the most important thing she can do is know her rights, and protect herself.

Belfast Telegraph

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