Year 2017- Time to address insensitivity towards pregnant women

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Year 2016 was a better year because many companies announced soothing maternity plans for the women employees like paid leave extension, flexibility, WFH options and so on but there is still long way to go. And what about the mindset, has it changed too?? Well the answer is still ‘No’. Or else my friend hasn’t need to resign while still working in a reputed global company for 5 years now and that too when she has not yet conceived!! She is undergoing treatments and the Boss utlized this crucial phase as the best time to make her leave the company..

Did I tell you how speculations had build up in my office when I stopped wearing heels at work, ‘ Oh my God, she has become pregnant now‘!! Yes, and half of the team was after me to check which month it was.. Can’t they leave us alone, It’s not abnormal to become pregnant. It’s a nature call, like the way we grew up, went to school, college, job, marriage and then motherhood. And what makes this discrimination exciting is that it’s not always the men behind such nasty acts but women too!

One of the poor perception the corporates have towards a pregnant/ would-be pregnant woman is  the ” lower productivity” that keeps her always in a’scrutinizing radar.’ Sooner a lady gets pregnant, everybody assumes that now she is no longer useful to work. Nonetheless gender biasness are always soaring high at the workplace but this good news on the contrary bring no comfort for a women’s career. Even before she goes for her maternity leave, she starts to get unworthy task or routine assignments.Because in those months we all goof up around the lady that she doesn’t deserve to work now! Let me ask during the Interview have you ever been asked when you will plan for the child or to justify your career break ( Thank God, I’m not the only one)

Have you noticed why only 27% of the female population aged over 15 is working in India ( as per the 2013 World Bank Study)?  And honestly nobody wish to quit her career. Though many quit jobs (like me),  but the question remained- what are the options left with us?

When I was at 8th month of my pregnancy, my boss got changed. My new boss presented me the revised team heirarchy and I found myself nowhere in it. As per him, If I will come back, they will fit me as in where there is some scope! What could I do? Could I re-join the organization and pray them to reduce my working hours because it’s impractical for me to work 9 hours in addition to 2 hours of travelling? Sorry that was beyond my scope..

Ok, I agree I had other reasons to quit as well but frankly the situations are pathetic to elaborate. If you recall your memories, you will remeber how often you went ‘QUIET’ when insane things happened with you. How you ignored your performance rating gone down from 1 to 2 or 3 without any justification, when your colleague got the award while you had substantially worked on the same project too. When you had requested your boss to work from home but couldn’t refuse the late night coneference call that went till 11 PM or 1 AM! How eyes rolled on your back when you took few extra minutes in the Cafeteria or when you increased the  washroom visits.. When you wanted a support to incline your legs and what you got was a old cardboard box. When you wanted to take a day off owing to growing pain but had to come to office so that your leaves can be adjusted later. When your boss started to have secret meeting with the rest of the folks and didn’t invited you as you were not strategically required. And In most of the places there is no transportation, WFH, work-flexibility, healthy meals leave alone the dream of having a cretche or prenatal support!

When we work in office, people fail to empathize and forget how well they treat their pregnant wife or small kid at home. The way you want to spend time and care with your family, similarly the ladies that work in office also need to bolster up! And there is no need to draw comparisons, every life and every case is different and that’s the reason a diverse workforce builds a successful organization. But what’s necessary is to analyze the individual’s need and provide the required support.. Motherhood is the best feeling to live in this world, don’t distort somebody’s dreams… don’t add your share into a women’s guilt..

Though motherhood itself is a 24X7 job but honestly nobody want to quit permanently given she has some desired options. When people ask me when you will resume back, I have no answer. I don’t feel bad about myself but I’m still searching my ‘desired’ one and not just a substitute. And the women like me are not ‘alien’. The day when the outlook towards a pregnant or new mother will change, probably women like me will find a decent career to resume back!

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