Working Mothers Pay a High Price for Having Children: Here’s Why

An elite athlete, Clarisse Cremer, hoping to become the first woman to sail around the world solo, was dropped by her sponsors Banque Populaire, because she took time out to have a baby! This is 2023 and still, organisations feel they can behave like women are not fit for purpose after they get pregnant. To be fair to the sponsors, there had been no precedent so I can understand them freaking out, isn’t that a problem in itself?


I wouldn’t mind but, women have been having babies since forever and it is the only reason any of us are here. You would have thought by now we would have nailed it so that when one of those pregnant people showed up in the workplace, there would be systems in place to support them from the moment of conception till birth and beyond, regardless of their profession.


Instead, what they get is a measly maternity pay and some time off if they are lucky, depending on the country they live in. Then, when they come back from maternity leave, they get sidelined or their sponsorship is dropped. As a result, these women are forced to hide their pregnancies or work like they don’t have children. This burns them out and impacts their children’s well-being. This is insane.


Call me a fantasist but I would like to see a world where career women want to get pregnant because it enhances their career rather than costing them. Can we think of a way to make it happen?


We live in a world where we have programmed AI to do all sorts of magnificent feats like producing art and music but we can’t figure out how to ensure that we don’t die out as a species? We have relegated this rather important task to individuals who are prepared to risk their health and livelihoods. We expect women to make this ultimate sacrifice, day in, day out. Did I already say this is insane, well I will say it again, it is insane.


This relegation is because it is seen primarily as a women’s issue. In other words, why disrupt the workplace and put all sorts of costly initiatives in place to support these childbearing women? Again in a way, I don’t blame these organisations for not wanting to put themselves through the inconvenience because this is a way bigger issue than one organisation can deal with. This requires a complete mindset shift of how women and childbearing in the workplace are viewed. This is something society needs to take on as a whole. 


This requires governments to get involved and look at the future of the population and how it is to ensure that there is a future generation to pay our pensions. It needs committees and sub-committees, white papers, special boffins from Uxbridge, the lot. It needs the sort of attention that was given to COVID-19 to come up with a vaccine. It is that important. Until we treat it like that, we are just tinkering around the edges.


The next generation is an asset we cannot afford not to have. Women are the ones that produce these assets. Looking at it pragmatically, how are we going to ensure that they are encouraged to keep the production line going? We need to figure this out now. Women have paid with their health and their children’s well-being for too long. Granted, they will not go on strike and decide they will not have any more babies, but we can’t also take them for granted forever.


In the story above, luckily after Clarisse got dropped, she got new sponsorship from a female-led company L’occitane en Provence. This leads me to another point, while we wait for the world and governments to wake up to the pivotal role that women play, women can lead the way. Unfortunately, they can only lead the way if they are in positions of power, most of which are currently still held by men, unfortunately.


If you’re a working mother and you’re also paying a higher price in your field for having children, grab a chat with me here. If you want to hear more from me, you might be interested in my FREE masterclass – register here to watch anytime.