How to have the TTC conversation at work
We all spend A LOT of our time at our place of work of if you freelance, you possibly spend time in and out of workplaces.
However it manifests, if you are working it takes up a lot of your time. So when it comes to trying to conceive and struggling – the one thing you really need in place is a supportive workplace.
Sadly, this often isn’t the case, which is why Natalie has teamed up with two brilliant ladies Becky Kearns and Claire Ingle to create Fertility Matters at work.
This episode may seem a big self-indulgent as Natalie interviews Becky and Claire, her partners in crime at Fertility Matters At Work, but please do indulge us just this once as we are on a mission.
One step at a time we are looking to change how fertility issues are addressed in the workplace.
The motivation behind Fertility Matters At Work
Becky has a background in HR but also experienced fertility treatments and a miscarriage whilst holding down a job and strongly felt that so many things could have been done differently. Becky hears from other women just how stressful it is for women going through fertility treatments and how they have felt that they’ve not been able to speak out, feeling misunderstood and unsupported in the workplace. Becky recently featured in the latest video from Ferring Pharmaceuticals talking about one encounter she had with her boss which you can watch here
Claire also has an HR background and felt that she ‘bumbled’ through her IVF treatment, working around appointments and trying not to inconvenience her place of work. This caused Claire so much anxiety and stress and she felt she couldn’t manage both her job and her fertility treatments. Like Becky, Claire felt this could have been handled so differently. Claire also felt that the policy in her workplace was lacking. Natalie met Claire through a mutual friend as Claire was already running a survey on her instagram called IVF at Work
Support in the workplace
Natalie shared her experience of not knowing who she could turn to for advice and support within her workplace. Both Becky and Claire noticed that while they were working in HR never once did an employee came to them for support or to understand what they were entitled to. Employees are worried about how they are going to be perceived for openly admitting that they are trying for a baby, and there is the assumption that women who are trying to conceive are not as committed.
Advice to employers and employees
Together they are hoping that they can increase the conversations and narrative surrounding what needs to be thought about from employers and an employees perspective. They have already found that they are getting a huge response on social media and have started gathering examples to use this to inform employers about the issues that women are facing.
Natalie, Becky and Claire want to be able to offer advice and tips to empower women to start conversations and challenge their employers to change current policies and strategy. However, they also hope to be able to support employers to aid retention of the workforce and understanding what their generation of workers need.
All organisations will differ on how easily and quickly they can change policy. Natalie, Becky and Claire hope to be able to offer employers assistance with the development and implementation of these policies.
Get in touch via email with your positive or negative experience, we’re also looking for you to share a 1-2 minute video of why fertility matters at work
Kate Davies – http://www.yourfertilityjourney.com
‘There is a huge gap in education and training for organisations. If we can make fertility treatments slightly easier for those going through it in the future, then what an amazing mission to be on’
‘I spent so, long as an employee, just trying to work around appointments and trying not to inconvenience work. There was a mental impact on me, a lot of emotion, a lot of anxiety created and I got really stressed out…..something had to give and at that time it was work’
‘There is the assumption in the workplace that women who are trying to conceive are not as committed’
‘I put so much pressure on myself, not only did I feel that I was failing at making a baby but failing at my job as well as I couldn’t be 100% present’
Source: The Fertility Podcast