For many business leaders, hearing the phrase, “I’m pregnant” from a prospective hire would be an unspoken cause for concern. Employers are legally obliged to discount pregnancy when reviewing a candidate’s aptitude for the job, but for a small or growing company, knowing that a year (or more) of maternity leave will soon create a hole in the organisation can be challenging.
When The Vida Consultancy founder Rachel MacLynn found out that a woman she wanted for a senior role was expecting, her reaction couldn’t have been more positive. “When she told me her news I was over the moon,” she says. “I have always been a big advocate of working mums, especially since having two children of my own.”
Despite knowing that her new hire would have a few months out of the business, with no guarantee she would return, MacLynn decided to offer her a role as director of relationship psychology services at the 10-year-old firm, which offers a blend of dating services, psychology and relationship coaching to its international client base of successful professionals at firms including Barclays Wealth, Goldman Sachs, EY, KPMG and Deutsche Bank.