“When you're doing what you're doing, you don't realise how amazing your life is. I was traveling the world, going out with friends or to evening events,” Aekta Patel, head of growth capital at the Department for International Trade, reminisces.
But after giving birth to her son in her thirties it quickly dawned on her that she didn’t want to go back to her old life and miss out on motherhood. “I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my son in a nursery or with a nanny and just seeing him on the weekends,” she adds.
After a difficult conversation with her boss around her maternity return, Patel was presented with three options: step down from the senior position she had worked tirelessly for, because it wasn’t feasible to do it part-time; apply for a “menial role” while caregiving; or leave the workforce entirely.