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Is this Indirect Sexual/Maternity Discrimination?

(2 Posts)
user1479588581 Sat 19-Nov-16 22:09:45

Hi Everyone,

I was hoping someone on here might be able to give me some advice on a work issue I'm currently going through - apologies in advance for the rather lengthy post, it's difficult to keep it short when the situation is quite complex, so appreciate you reading this! smile

I have been working for my employer for 10 years, and have been in my current 'Sr Sales Operations Specialist' position for 5. I have taken on additional responsibility indirectly (since a member of staff left and was not replaced) since 2014 with no additional compensation, and in October 2016 I was given a new line manager and as a result 3 new significant areas of responsibility, again with no compensation - as a result of this I requested a promotion up to Sales Operations Manager during my reviews in April and October this year. Both times this was supported by my then line manager. In October written feedback was "I fully support this promotion and will work with her new line manager to put a development plan in place for her to achieve this during the next promotion cycle'. Promotion cycles are January and May each year.

I reached out to my ex line manager afterwards asking when the next promotion plan is likely to be, to which I was told to take this up with my new line manager. I had a meeting with my new line manager last week who told me that despite my ex line manager, my current line manager and HR agreeing the promotion, there has been push back by a colleague (Sr Sales Operations Director) in our HQ San Francisco office. I do not report into the US, I report into Europe, based in London and covered by UK law. I have no reporting line to her. Ironically, the additional work I took on back in 2014 was a direct result of this woman not replacing her report when she moved over to another group within the company! The reason this San Francisco colleague has given to delay the promotion is "if we promote her it will be unfair for the other Sr Sales Operations Specialists in other regions" - this same logic did not seem to apply, when for example other Sr Sales Operations Specialists in her own 'Americas' region and 'Japan' region were promoted up to Sr Sales Operations Manager, and Sales Operations Manager positions 2-3 years ago! I of course did not complain about this as those people report into their set regions with it's own independent challenges specific to that region, but this woman didn't seem to have a problem with it then! This is the same woman that made it very difficult for me to go up to Sr Specialist level 5 years ago, so the fact that I'm experiencing issues now doesn't surprise me!

My concern is, I'm currently 18 weeks pregnant, I informed my employer of this when I was 12 weeks and will be going on Maternity leave in April/May 2017, with the intention to take the full 12 months off.

I spoke with my ex line manager (now vp of europe!) about this situation on Friday last week to see if he could provide some more context. During the call he said, "even if Europe agrees on a promotion, it's very difficult to put it through if someone in HQ San Francisco office doesn't agree...!". I asked that if I go on this development plan which he suggested in his review (again still not clearly defined) then they wanted to put the promotion through in April/May before I go off on Maternity leave, but this woman in San Francisco doesn't agree with this date and wants the promotion to go through the January after I get back, which is January 2019!

During my meeting last week with current line manager, when this development plan was mentioned there was no clear objectives other than this woman in San Francisco (that I have no reporting line to and have spoken to in person only 2 or 3 times last year ffs!!) wants to see me demonstrate more 'leadership qualities' (all of which I could provide examples of now!).

My concerns are that not only have I not received any reward for the indirect work that came my way as a result of this woman not replacing her report in HQ when they left in 2014, no mention of reward for the additional responsibilities taken on as of October 2016 when this new line manger came on board. I now find that I'm to be on this unclear development plan that i'll start for 6/7 months before going on maternity leave and have to do a further 9 months after getting back before finally getting promoted!

I'm sure this verges on discrimination but I'm not sure exactly how and what I can do about it?

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks in advance.


puglife15 Sun 20-Nov-16 12:05:55

You need to push for a clearer development plan with concrete SMART objectives ASAP so you can prove you've achieved them by next April or earlier. If they fob you off with something vague just reject it and keep pushing for specifics. They need to tell you exactly how you can achieve it and get it past all staff including woman in SF, it's not good enough that she can just not agree on a whim.

I'd also demand clear reasons why your promotion should be delayed to Jan 19 so you can find ways to overcome this.

I also wouldn't be shy of speaking to HR and saying informally that you are starting to wonder if your treatment over this / being overlooked for promotion is a result of your pregnancy.

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