Join the MIST Network!
Due to launch: Wed 22 Feb 2023
We know that battling reproductive issues and/or childlessness alongside work can be a lonely, isolating and unspeakably tough journey. Our exclusive membership brings together people battling similar struggles, and enables access to a range of sources of support, including:
A support community (receive peer support through an exclusive and private forum. Share stories, off-load on difficult days, and find a safe space to seek and share advice).
Our podcast recordings (exclusive access to our regular podcast which hosts a variety of guests discussing workplace-specific issues and personal stories - from navigating fertility treatment alongside work, employee legal rights and entitlements - to managing pro-natal triggers).
Our annual conference (we hold a yearly conference and our members receive free access to this. Speakers include experts in the field, HR leaders and employees sharing lived experiences).
Our newsletter detailing recent research and progress in the areas of reproductive health and childlessness at work.
To register, please sign up below:
Founder and Lead Consultant: Katy Schnitzler
Katy Schnitzler is a training consultant, academic and specialist in the area of reproduction at work. Specifically, Katy advises on pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness - helping organisations to better support employees affected by such prevalent, yet often concealed, issues.
Katy's work with businesses is informed by the most current research, including findings from her own PhD, which Katy is pursuing alongside. Katy successfully secured the prestigious ESRC DTP scholarship to complete this vital research. Katy is also a highly experienced HE Lecturer, and has also presented at academic conferences, winning awards for her research.
Working in world leading research has led Katy to collaborate extensively with various organisations, including The NHS, universities and baby loss charities.
Why should workplaces be aware of reproductive issues?
1 in 4
Pregnancies end in loss.
Felt they did not receive adequate support from their workplace after a miscarriage.
1 in 6
Couples experience infertility.
1 in 5
People are childless - 90% are so not through choice.
Said their workplace should have policies on pregnancy loss and fertility treatment.
Received insensitive comments upon disclosing their miscarriage at work.
Of women feared discrimination after disclosing a miscarriage and/or fertility treatment.
Did not contact HR about their miscarriage.
Of affected employees left their organisation following pregnancy loss.
We help organisations to better support the considerable numbers of employees experiencing reproductive issues, including pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness. We do this through...
Through our bespoke workshops, we provide training for all employees, including managers, HR and teams, on the topics of pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness.
Our training is informed by the latest research, and includes lived experiences to illuminate the key issues at work.
These informative, yet sensitive, sessions equip organisations with the knowledge, skills and confidence to support the many employees affected. In brief, the workshops raise awareness of prevalence, physical and psychological effects, employee rights, effective and appropriate return-to-work plans, how to tackle the taboo, the impact of pro-natal cultures, and our popular communication training. Delegates also have the opportunity for a Q&A.
External Reproductive First Aiders
The symptoms of pregnancy loss and fertility treatment have a significant effect on work, and indeed, pregnancy loss can begin at work. Employees often struggle with a lack of specific support, and managers want to help, but don't know where to turn.
MIST provide outsourced assistance to both affected employees and their line managers on a flexible and individual basis.
We help managers to provide effective and sensitive support to those affected employees. We also coach employees and liaise between them and their line managers to ensure the most appropriate support is available to them. Our external reproductive first aiders foster healthier and happier workplaces, encouraging productivity, engagement and retention.
We understand that it is not always possible to train all staff members at the same time, therefore we provide training videos through our e-learning packages.
The videos are divided into digestible snippets, and can be watched at your convenience. They can also be revisited as needed.
Our training is informed by the latest research, and includes real case studies to highlight the key issues at work.
Our e-learning package contains the same content as our training sessions, with the exception of a Q&A.
Occupational Health & Counsellor Mentoring
Many companies offer an Employee Assistance Programme for their staff which often includes access to counselling.
Counselling is an invaluable resource for many employees facing a number of difficulties. However, our research demonstrates that many employees affected by reproductive issues feel that generalised counselling does not meet their specific needs.
Affected employees commonly state that counsellors should be trained on the unique issues of reproductive health. MIST do just that - we train Occupational Health, counsellors and mental health first aiders to enable them to better support employees affected by pregnancy loss, infertility and/or childlessness.
MIST co-create bespoke policies with organisations on the topics of pregnancy loss and fertility treatment. We advise on employee rights and entitlements using the most current legislative frameworks, and ensure that the policies are sensitively worded, and are crucially, inclusive.
Informed policies in these areas produce a number of benefits, from consistent practice and fairness to reduced staff turnover. Such policies also encourage open conversations on these often concealed topics, facilitating a healthier workforce.
We also recommend how to connect new policy with existing ones (for example, sick leave, parental leave, compassionate leave and bereavement policies).
We conduct empirical research for organisations to obtain employee experiences of current practice.
We gather data primarily through interviews, focus groups and surveys, and present the findings through reports and presentations.
Research can be beneficial to inform policy, training and other initiatives. When experiences are collated through outsourced research, companies are more likely to obtain accurate insight.
Our Clients and Partners...
"Katy partnered with us at Fertility Matters at Work to provide our members with a workshop focusing on pregnancy and baby loss policy and guidance. What she delivered was informative, sensitive and insightful, combining the stark realities of what it means to go through this experience with practical recommendations for organisations to take away and implement. Katy is authentic and engaging and shares our passion for educating and raising awareness about the struggles to bring home a baby".