This week, we’ve had it with fake news. Seen too many panels with women (and men) telling us how they “made it” and how becoming a parent just wasn’t an issue. The final straw was an article headed:

 Multinational Director reveals why motherhood NEVER held her back

Pleased for her. Here’s our (all too real) alternative version:

Woman next door reveals why motherhood RUINED her career.

  1. She got pregnant and couldn’t travel so was taken off a plum assignment – even though the technology was there to enable remote working
  2. On maternity leave, her clients were handed over to others (who never gave them back)
  3. Her peers were offered places on a fast track leadership programme: she was offered a maternity coach
  4. Her request to go to 4 days a week was accepted (eventually) her workload didn’t actually change
  5. Still, she was so grateful to be able to have that one day at home that she fitted the work in at evenings and weekends. But was only paid for the 4 days of course.
  6. Her pay rises got smaller every year.
  7. Promotion opportunities were non-existent (she was “part-time”). Peers moved up; her career flatlined.
  8. She missed all the networking opportunities – drinks in the evenings & cycling at the weekends not being great if you have toddlers to look after, a partner who’s not sharing the burden and parents who live 200 miles away.
  9. She was always late for that critical 8 am team meeting on a Thursday morning.
  10. She quit/was fired/put up with it … you choose.

Whilst we applaud and celebrate those who make it work, and organisations who are trying very hard to change things, let’s not ignore what is still the reality for thousands of women with children and careers. Wouldn’t it be nice, just once, to put them on a panel and hear what they have to say?

At She’s Back, we’re striving hard to help women have careers that last. Which survive during and beyond the years of caring for small children.  This will only work if both parents are involved in parenting, which in turn means both parents having some balance in their lives. 

The payoff?  Not only will women win, but their partners will have more fulfilling lives and less stress and their children will have the benefit of both parents being around. 

What’s to lose?


  • Lisa Unwin

    CEO & Co-Founder of the Reignite Academy

    Lisa Unwin, CEO & Co-founder of the Reignite Academy, helping women have long term, sustainable careers. Supporting returners. Banging the drum for women at work. Writing, consulting, speaking, changing things. Mother. Reader. Cyclist. Skier. Co-author of She's Back: Your Guide to Returning to Work