Joeli Brearly is happily employed as a full-time project manager and she is seven months pregnant with her second child. A few years ago, while working for another client and pregnant with her firstborn, things were very different.
Brearly claims she was fired from her previous client because she was four months pregnant.
"I was really, really shocked… and really hurt," Brearly told Think Progress.
It turns that Brearly is not the only mother in the U.K. who has experienced discrimination after becoming a new mother.
54,000 British women lose their jobs annually after having a child.
"Organizations often have good intentions and the right policies but unless line managers are properly trained in maternity rights and are supported in their management of pregnant women and new mothers this is where it can, and often does, go wrong," Sarah Jackson, CEO of Working Families, explained to The Telegraph.
"I couldn't actually believe that people would, firstly, behave like that, but also that they thought they could get away with it," Brearly told Think Progress.
Appalled by pregnancy discrimination, Brearly took action.
On International Women's Day in March 2015, Brearly launched Pregnant Then Screwed, a website dedicated to creating awareness on this issue and for women in the U.K. to openly share their first-hand experiences with pregnancy discrimination.
Hundreds of women in the U.K. shared their stores on the website, including women who lost their jobs before or during maternity leave or women who were pressured by their employers to get an abortion.
Those stories are the only the tip of the discrimination iceberg.
"The worst affected are those who face a slow-drip feed of bulling and torment, which leads to them leaving of their own free will, as they can't cope with the stress," Brearly said to The Telegraph. "Then there's those who are simply ignored. They are not put up for promotion, or have responsibilities taken from them. Nothing is said directly, they are just made to feel worthless."
(H/T: Think Progress)
Cover image via iStock