Despite the prevalence of pregnancy loss, infertility and childlessness, the silence overbears people and most suffer alone.
We ask people when they're having children, assuming this is plain sailing, and a destination for all. Having a family is normalised and celebrated in society and this leaks into other domains, including the workplace. For those enduring pregnancy loss, fertility issues and/or childlessness, this expectation is deeply triggering and organisations are yet to tackle this problem.
Most people do not feel able to disclose their loss at work due to shame, taboo and fear of reprimand.
Almost 70% of employees who disclosed their experience said they received inadequate support from their employers, including insensitive comments and even discrimination. Not only do employees suffer when organisations are uninformed on these issues, but workplaces do too.
- Increased mental health illness
- Loss of talent
- Increased absenteeism
- Increased presenteeism
- Reduced engagement
- Increased staff turnover
How can MIST help?
MIST aim to tackle these issues through research-informed training, tailored to your needs. Our approach is sensitive, compassionate and practical, and can be conducted in-house or online.
Our specialist training is recommended for:
"It was so hard being in my office when I going through IVF after suffering infertility for four years, and a miscarriage at 8 weeks. The constant baby talk was so triggering. It was one pregnancy announcement after another. A colleague also brought her baby in unannounced and it sent me over the edge. I tried to talk to my line manager about it and she said I should just speak to the team. I was totally alone even when seeking help".
"I felt I had to hide my miscarriage from my boss. I thought I'd be turned down for opportunities if I disclosed because I'd be viewed as unreliable and planning to go off on Maternity Leave. I felt I had failed as a mother, I didn't want to fail at my job as well so I carried on and told no-one. But I couldn't function, my work suffered and I was told I would be put on an action plan for my absences. I had to disclose and then I was treated differently. I wasn't given the 'meaty' projects, people tiptoed around me or said the wrong thing. I had to leave in the end. Miscarriage is hidden from the world of work. My boss didn't tell me about my entitlements. I don't think many bosses know what they are".
"I opened up to my mates/colleagues at work about our loss. They asked how my wife was, but not me - but I wasn't right either. Then I felt guilty because of course the physical impact was felt by her, I was physically fine - of course it was much worse for her".