Power to the Bump

Power to the Bump is about empowering young women to take control of their experience at work and speak out against discrimination by understanding their rights. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s research into pregnancy and maternity discrimination found that 73% of Scottish women had a negative or possibly discriminatory experience at work while pregnant, on maternity leave or on return to work. We found that young mothers under 25 were significantly more likely than older mothers to experience pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Young women were twice as likely to feel under pressure to hand their notice in on becoming pregnant and a quarter of young mothers reported experiencing higher levels of stress at work than mothers over 25.

We spoke to young mums who told us that they had low awareness of their pregnancy and maternity rights, were typically in less stable employment and sometimes lacked confidence to talk to their manager about things that were troubling them – and so felt under pressure to hand in their notice or leave their job rather than discuss issues that were worrying them.

While employers and the government have the responsibility for ensuring safe and fair workplaces, we wanted to make sure young mothers felt that there was support out there for them and that they had knowledge about their rights and how to assert them and so we developed the Power to the Bump campaign.

The campaign was developed and created with help from Young Women’s Trust and the Royal College of Midwives and tested with young mums. It is being supported by the STUC, Engender and a range of other organisations.

The campaign provides practical information to support young women in how to manage conversations with their employers and exercise their rights such as taking paid time off for antenatal appointments. In addition, where employers fall foul of the law and don’t meet their responsibilities, it provides advice on how women can raise complaints and where they can go to get legal advice and redress.

You can read more about the campaign here https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/power-bump

All the products are available to download and share. The Commission hope that organisations who work with young women will take the infographics and gifs and advice and share them with their own networks.

For further information about this work please contact Helen Miller, Policy Manager, Equality and Human Rights Commission on 0141 228 5958 or helen.miller@equalityhumanrights.com