Flexi-Star series pt 3: Joeli Brearley from Pregnant then Screwed

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Joeli needs no introduction really....but if you haven't yet heard of Pregnant Then Screwed then it's vital that you have a read below! Joeli campaigns hard for transparency in business when it comes to Flexible Working and is busily working away on the new 'Pregnant Then Elected' project to support more mothers to start a career in Politics. What a fabulous lady! Find out more on her website here.

1. Tell us who you are and a little about yourself

Hi, I am Joeli, I'm a campaigner and writer who spends a ridiculous amount of time waxing lyrical about the motherhood penalty and how our traditional workplace is shafting mothers.  I set up the pressure group, Pregnant Then Screwed in 2015 after I was sacked by my employer the day after I had informed them I was expecting. My employer was a children’s charity. Since then Pregnant Then Screwed has gone from strength to strength; we have a free legal advice line, a mentor scheme which pairs up women who have been through an employment tribunal with a woman about to go through the same process, a flexible working helpline and we run our UK Festival Of Motherhood and Work - Pregnant Then Screwed Live - In Manchester and London every year. 

 2. What’s your flexible working purpose? 

We have been campaigning for the Government to force companies to report on how many flexible working requests are made and how many are granted. We believe this transparency will force companies to rethink their attitude to flexible working. We are also keen to see companies adopt job shares as standard and we would like to see MPs be able to work as a job share - Parliament should be leading the way in terms of flexible working but it is not. 

 3. What encouraged you to start your flexible working journey? 

When I started Pregnant Then Screwed I heard from so many mothers who had been forced to quit their job as their employer refused to be even slightly flexible. Employers were making it impossible for mothers to balance being a parent and their professional obligations. Some women just needed 30 minutes of flexibility to make it work but their employers were so stuck in their ways they refused, forcing a new mother to be unemployed. Alongside this I was reading report after report that showed implementing flexible working had a positive impact on productivity and profit. It made no sense whatsoever, employers were shooting themselves in the foot and the result was mothers being out of work and struggling to make ends meet. 

        4. What’s your top tip for those seeking flexible work to ask for this at work?

Try and solve the problems for your employer. Put yourself in their shoes and then work out what they will see as the challenges so you have an answer for everything. Also, if they are reluctant, suggest a trial.

Register here to attend our National Flexible Working Day on 12th September to join in the conversation around flexible working, see how it works in action and talk to business' who are doing this already. If you can't attend in person, why not join in online, posting your comments and questions (and we'd love to see your pictures too) using our hashtag #LetsAllFlexTogetherDay - see you there!