International Women’s Day: Pregnant Then Screwed

Pregnant The Screwed (PTS) was founded by Joeli Brearley, who discovered (by voicemail) that she had lost her job just days after after she told her employer she was pregnant. Today, PTS fiercely campaigns to make sure the voices of parents and pregnant people are heard. Not only this, but they offer a wealth of information about your rights and options when you choose to have a family and even a support service to help you navigate through employment issues or advice on stepping back into work. This International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a light on Joeli and her amazing team.

Campaigning For Change

With some staggering statistics about the penalties of motherhood, PTS have been campaigning since their launch in 2015 for change at government level. Their ‘March of the Mummies’ in 2022 was attended by over 12,000 parents across 11 UK locations, protesting to encourage reform so that families have access to sufficient parental leave, affordable childcare and flexible working.


Know Your Rights

Whether you’re currently pregnant and planning your maternity leave, or are thinking about going back to work, the PTS website is full of useful information so you have the knowledge to understand what you’re entitled to, and the courage to ask for it! Educating yourself on your rights will help empower you to make the decisions that are best for you and your family, not just what suits your employer. Want to speak to someone about your unique experience? PTS also have trained volunteers who can help advise on HR requests, benefits, legal matters and mental health support. All this is free to access.


Training For Businesses

PTS also partner with employers and organisations to help train staff on how they can recruit, retain and promote talented parents. With over 50,000 women leaving the workplace every year just because they became a parent, a lot of potential is being missed. Alongside industry experts, they have created a series of workshops and courses to improve staff wellbeing while increasing productivity.

You Can Take Action

There are so many ways you can help support PTS and everything they do. From writing to your MP to let them know childcare, parental leave and flexible working rights should be a priority for them, to becoming a volunteer yourself. The PTS community is full of support for all. 

Another way you can help is by signing Joeli’s petition about the gender pay discrimination cover up within Channel 4. Employees have been silenced by NDAs, used to hide a toxic culture. By signing the petition you can help release them, so they are able to tell their stories and fight for change.

Joeli has also written a book The Motherhood Penalty - How to stop motherhood being the kiss of death from your career. An insightful yet witty account on the challenges of being a mother in the workplace both today and historically. Buy it here.