I worked a little during my mat leave but was well rewarded on return

General Details
Working mother
Investment Banking
Type of leave:
Number of years professional experience:
16-20 years
Length of leave:
6-12 months
Type of experience:
Work pattern on return:
Flexible full-time
Message I have one child, born just before I was 40 and been an MD for 6 years before. Terrified of going on mat leave as work closely with very senior m'ment incl the board. Was offered maternity counselling which was useful-ish -if it was more frequent. I was most concerned management would assume I wasn't coming back/couldn't do my role /so wouldn't get my job back. So I scheduled alt in-person and video confs with each impt exec before and after I returned. The key for me was successful preparation of the team as I had no cover. I allocated out my role when I let them know I was pregnant and trained them for 6 months. I talked to my deputy once per week for about 30 min to help him cope while I was off and kept up with the business/read almost every email [although didn't take much in] . Came back full time after 6 months but almost cracked with three trips abroad in the first 6 weeks. Then tried a 4 day week but now do 5 days flexibly with at least one at home, my deputy got made MD and my team are far stronger. My boss has been excellent. I was paid a full bonus and given a pay rise when I returned. I did suffer with PND and have had a few wobbles when under a lot of pressure/long days/travel etc but HR have been very sympathetic. On the flip side I worked every day in the prior three years despite two miscarriages and a very complex IVF. My boss knows I wont take any cr*p as have complained about pay and sexism previously which were addressed. So plenty of give and take on both sides. The experience has made me feel more valued and loyal to the firm.
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