Planning Your Maternity Leave Can Make a Difference
Navigating pregnancy and being a new mother is a challenge. Then add work, and it gets more complex.
Let’s face it, you may experience a shift in your career in the time that you are pregnant and once you have a new baby.
You announce you are pregnant at work and it is a very trying time for you, needing to figure out so much (plus morning sickness – hello!)
Firstly, research has shown that maternal bias kicks in the moment a woman announces her pregnancy. Maternal wall bias is when a woman’s proficiency is questioned, just because she is a mother, announces she is pregnant, and when she announces her engagement!
As a result, she is less likely to get promoted or allocated stretch assignments simply because she is a mother (or got engaged). I am not making this stuff up.
Vocalising your needs and aspirations is one way to counter maternal bias.
Would it not be amazing if you can take charge of your maternity leave. Plan what you can, and make yourself, colleagues and your manager comfortable.
If you can do this, you will be a rock star!Plan and close the loop. Create a maternity leave plan that helps you, your manager and colleagues Click To Tweet
Related Post: Why You Should Feel Proud of Being a Working Mom
Why would you go about this journey without planning your maternity leave transition?
For this very reason, I created the Maternity Leave Transition Guide. I have spoken to many young mothers who simply felt that they were ‘sidelined’ and that their contribution was not fully recognised in this time.
The Maternity Leave Transition Guide; contains a hand over template, check list, an excel to pull your work year together for this period. It also covers personal topics, such as; nanny vs day care; expressing at work – what you need to know and more.
Don’t let your manager wonder what your performance contribution was. Write it down.
Related Post: 7 Things A Working Mother Wants to Tell Her Boss
Plan as much as you can
Plan your maternity leave, with as much detail as you possibly can. Document which projects you are closing off and which projects you are handing over.
That will not only give you comfort, but also your boss and colleagues.
Communicate your career aspiration
The reality is that unless a pregnant woman communicates her career goals, it will be assumed. It will be assumed that you want to take the ‘mommy track’ or ‘slow down‘. This is okay, if it is what you want.
It is not okay if you want to still drive your career goals. Ensure that part of your discussions with your manager includes a talking point around your career aspirations.When going on maternity leave, don't let others make assumptions about your career. Speak up. Click To Tweet
Consolidate your performance and contribution. Be a rock star performer before you head off on maternity.
Proactively manage your maternity through documenting what you are closing off, what you handing over and to whom.
The Maternity Leave Guide will include an excel template to enable this.
Take what you need from these documents so that it make sense for your environment.
Share this post with a friend who is expecting, or share with a manager (who needs to get with the programme).