Pregnancy and promotion(21 Posts)
Less of an AIBU and more of a WWYD.
An opportunity has come up for a big promotion at work. It is a brand new position. It's a role I have done before but at a smaller less prestigious company (but still a well known brand in a similar industry). I have been with my company 2 years, in a different but closely related function. Have good relationships at work, have had excellent reviews, get on well with senior leaders and the managing director.
There is another internal candidate from a different business unit who is 5 years less qualified than I am but has a good relationship with senior people at the parent company. He would have to relocate to take this role (but I don't think that would be an issue).
Anyway long story short I think I'd be a good candidate and I rate my chances of being chosen over other internal candidate. Am sure there will be v.g external candidates as well though.
Recruitment process starts next week with a view to offer being made by Christmas.
I am 6 weeks pregnant, will be 12 weeks on 17 December, due late June.
My company has an excellent reputation as a good employer - very good flexibility policies, very vocal about gender diversity, encouraging women leaders, claims the gender pay gap etc. I have one child (nearly 3) and have worked full time for the last year - it is a great environment to be a working parent.
If I got the job I wouldn't take a full year, would take 4-6 months,keep my nanny on maybe start back after 4 months 10-15 hours a week and ramp up from there. The packages this job entails means possibly DH could take some parental leave.
So my question is - when do I tell them I'm pregnant?
Do I wait to get a job offer and say by the way I'm expecting a baby in June, I'll need X amount of time for parental leave and here's how I plan to manage it? In principle I'm perfectly legally entitled to approach it that way but it's not a great way to start a new working relationship with the MD particularly. I could understand him feeling annoyed at being blindsided like that.
Do I go through a couple of rounds of interviews and tell them before a decision is made? E.g. "There are some personal circumstances that I'll need to manage in 2018 and here's how I plan to do that - I wanted to be upfront with you and I trust this won't affect your decision" ?? It's really trusting them not to be swayed by the pregnancy issue - is the fairer option not to tell and so ensure their judgement isn't influenced?
We have some aspirational targets around women in leadership and value our reputation in this area so potentially my situation could be slightly positive?!
Really 50/50 on this - would be v interested to hear your thoughts.
My professional head says 'go for it, don't tell them about the pregnancy until an offer is made and propose the adjustments and terms to manage it that you deem reasonable.
However, I'd be concerned personally about the unknown factors of pregnancy and the baby. What if you have a shitty pregnancy and have to work even harder than now? You'll feel guilty and exhausted even if your company are understanding. When I had my son I thought I'd want to be back at work ASAP. Actually I realised quickly I wanted the whole year. Having said you'd go back after 4 months to then change your mind could make thinks awkward.
You have no idea what 2 kids might be looking like - you might prefer work to be something you are used to rather than going full pelt at something new.
I know I'd prefer a slightly easier life at work soon after giving birth. I barely felt human until 18 months post birth.
Don't tell them until you absolutely have to. You cannot trust people to do the right thing in this case. They don't need to know as it shouldn't affect their decision.
Don't tell them untill you get the job, also you don't owe to them to come back earlier, take the full time and enjoy it!
...I trust this won't affect your decision" ??
You won't ever have any way of knowing if it sways their decision either way, I wouldn't like to live with that uncertainty.
I had a similar situation - I knew I was in with a good chance of a secondment to a more senior position when I was in early pregnancy. I waited until I had the formal offer before telling them - as it happened the secondment was for 6 months which took me right up to my maternity leave. The secondment went well and they interviewed for the position when I was 7 months pregnant. I was offered the job permanently and was formally put in the role a few weeks before my maternity leave started. I'm very grateful they saw beyond maternity leave (I took 10 months) and took the chance on me!
Having said all that it was really tough proving myself in the role whilst undergoing a very hard pregnancy (severe fatigue/nausea/SPD) but it was worth it in the long run.
Most people wouldn't tell work until after the 12 week scan anyway so I would personally wait until an offer is made then inform them and offer solutions etc.
Thanks all I really appreciate it.
Moany I totally get it and who knows how I'll feel, but I don't think I'd take 12 months in any case - I took 6 with DS (going back 3 days initially) and it worked well for me.
There's no guarantee a position like this will come up again any time soon so I do feel it would be a bit of short term pain for long term gain.
BadPolicy that's my thinking - it shouldn't affect their thinking and the easiest way to ensure it doesn't is not to tell them. Feels uncomfortable though...
afrikat it's really great to hear your experience was so positive. Gives me hope!!
We had something similar here. Found out my DW was pregnant the day she accepted a new job. She went it to tell the boss and they were delighted for her. Said it was worth waiting for the right person and agreed to push back the start as she wouldn’t have benefitted from very good mat leave.
I’d say go through the interview and see if you get the job. If you don’t then never mind, if you do then tell them once you’re happy to (scans are positive, Mat B1 form has been filled out etc). Otherwise you risk worrying over nothing. Be professional about it and your boss will have no reason to be unprofessional.
Thanks Flouncy that's s helpful perspective. I guess in your wie's case though, her conscience was "clear" as she didnt know she was pregnant during the recruitment process.
But The alternative is not to go for it which wouldn't sit comfortably with me either - my organisation says they are serious about gender diversity so I guess I have to take them at their word!
Whattodo have you read Lean In? I found it massively helpful and made my decision of applying for the promotion etc much easier.
Yes I have and found it resonated but SS advocates telling employers about your baby plans in interviews which always struck me as a bit naive!! Plus 4 months is seen as generous mat leave in the US...
But agree the "don't leave before you leave" message is relevant here.
Oh I must have forgotten that bit I don't agree with her there! And yes their leave policy is ridiculous. But the don't leave before you leave message I found very powerful and I think it's what ultimately got me my promotion. Previously I think I would have stepped back and not pushed myself due to fear of what they might think but it all worked out really well
As someone who had just hired someone who was pregnant when they started, I'm glad she didn't tell us. I wanted, and an legally obliged, to make a decision based on merit and that was what we did. Knowing could have made us unconsciously biased and I'd rather know that our decision was sound.
Thanks Dojo that's really good to hear. How did she manage her mat leave out of interest?
I was offered a permanent promotion 3 hrs after I discovered I was pregnant with DS. I took the job and didn’t tell them for about 5 weeks.
She wasn't entitled to maternity pay from us, as she hadn't been working for us during her qualifying period, but I gave her all the information she needed about Maternity Allowance and the form to apply for it.
Out of interest when did other posters here tell your employer you were pregnant? I'm coming up to 9 weeks and don't plan on saying anything for a while yet (not for another 6 weeks at least) and thought that was normal? This is making me wonder now.
I'm your position OP I wouldn't say anything, I'd apply and see how it goes, if you're the best person for the job then you're the best person for the job.
Colonel last time I didn't tell my Boss til 12 weeks, I was dreading it and rightly. No longer with that company!
I've just had a meeting with my manager who has encouraged me to go for this job and reiterated how they want to build female leaders so am feeling better about it. I won't tell them until(if) I agree an offer - ultimately it's not a legal consideration so best not to burden them with it? Also if I miss out, I'd always wonder if my pregnancy was a factor - this way I'd feel more comfortable that i'd missed out on my merits rather than the status of my womb.
Plus I'm a 36 year old with a nearly 3 year old - I'm sure the prospect of me requiring maternity leave at some point will cross their minds anyway.
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