I once hired a pregnant staff, I didn’t know till she was about 6 months gone. The day she told me she had something to tell me, it was her colleague that orchestrated the meeting. I thought she wanted to resign, so I sat waiting to hear it.
Then she told me she was pregnant. I responded, ‘congratulations, how far gone?’ Then I asked, ‘so, what do you want to do?’ She said she wanted to continue working. I responded that was good news for both of us. I don’t know what she was expecting, but I was happy she wasn’t resigning.
Her pregnancy progressed, she remained very hard working. I started to plan how we would work when she went on maternity leave, she kept postponing the discussions. I told her to hand over, she refused, citing that her role was confidential and she could cope.
Then she started wobbling into the office, she appeared further along the pregnancy than she claimed. I asked her to confirm her due date, she had two different dates 3 weeks apart.
She kept coming into the office, she said she was enjoying the exercise. She would make jest of her condition, sometimes telling funny tales of how people on the bus were extra nice to her. I explained to her that the plan she had to deliver her baby in the office would not work.
One day, she looked really tired and her ankles swollen. I told her that her maternity leave had started and that day was her last day at work. I banned her from the office. A few days after, as if I knew, she had the baby. It was congratulations to us, as that was our first Kendor baby. She had a difficult labour that led to an emergency c-section, I ensured I visited her at the hospital and then at home.
The next day, she was sending work emails. I couldn’t believe it. I asked her why she laughed and said she was ok.
The next week she wanted to come to the office. I told her not to, she still came. I shook my head.
So, we agreed she work from home, as honestly, there was no difference in her work output, she was still delivering, so she came in once a week. This was around 2014 when working from home wasn’t as popular. When her maternity leave ended, she asked if she could continue working from home, I was glad to oblige.
Why am I telling you this story?
To help many understand that pregnancy is not always a barrier to work productivity.
Every pregnancy is different.
Truth be told, some women like myself are a mess the first 3 months, some all through the pregnancy, but some women are like workhorses, they literally never stop.
Please, stop discriminating against women; newly married women, married women. There are no guarantees in this life.
The research reveals that women are more loyal than men especially when they are enabled to be successful at home and at work.
That number is doubled at the C-suite level. Where women are twice as loyal as men.
Are you thinking of curbing staff turnover, increasing retention? Consider hiring more women. Perhaps pregnant women at that😀.
All the best.