“How to tell your employer you’re pregnant,” doing some research, I realized this topic is not super popular on the web, unless you go to specific “mommy” websites or pregnancy forums.
Being a woman in technology, I have heard all the phrases from “Better not get pregnant yet” to “when are you starting a family, don’t take too long.” These are all really great opinions but to be honest, these phrases women hear in the workplace are just not needed. It makes it even harder to communicate you are pregnant when so many people have an opinion on when you should have children.
The most alarming statement I have read thus far from Catalyst (article here) and the reason it gives me anxiety is below.
Women aged 25-34 experienced a 48% drop in wages in the first year of having a child in 2016.36
I still haven’t found how to prevent this, but I’m not too fond of 50/50 odds. Now let’s jump into it; if it still makes you uneasy about announcing your pregnancy, here are some steps you can take!
How to tell your Manager you are pregnant?
Now, I wish I had a quick recommendation on the exact words to say to your manager, but I don’t. I know from experience that you can have loads of emotions about when is the right time, overthink how your boss will react, and have the right words. Some people will recommend you to wait until at least 3-4 months, where other people are just too excited to announce the news. By law, when you start your maternity leave in Canada, you need to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice. I highly recommend in Canada that you don’t give your employer only two weeks.
Below I have broken it down in four tips on how to tell your employer:
- Set aside the time: Don’t tell your boss in a morning scrum session, where they will be caught off guard. Schedule an appointment to meet so there is no additional business talk or distractions. If you are working remotely and the time is not scheduled for this specific topic, it is very easy not to have a moment to talk about this.
- Accentuate the positive: If you are super excited about this news, please don’t start with an apology when you tell your boss. For a lot of you, this is the best news in your life, be happy about your pregnancy and confident in your ability to work and raise a family. Everyone is doing it!
- Be Flexible: Now, you might already have a plan in your mind, what you want maternity leave to look like, when you come back, etc. Most likely, your manager will be more than happy to brainstorm with you what options are available. There is not much compromise on this topic in Canada, from an employer’s standpoint, as there are laws set in place for parents to utilize. My recommendation would be to communicate as much as possible how you are feeling about when you want to come back to work.
- Get it in Writing: Once you have told your manager that you are pregnant, I would highly recommend sending a summary email just as a reminder/time step that this was discussed for your records and theirs. This will prevent any if any future confusion.