We want to see a new normal where pregnancy is valued for the transformational experience it is for the collective benefit of women, men and business.
"No-Brainer! This is what we need to empower mothers and help business. Vote Now!" Patti Goode Empowered Motherhood
Bumps and the Boardroom Founder Lisa Barnwell has spent 14 years working closely as a maternity coach and therapist with over 2000 high-potential women on their transition to motherhood and in doing so has come to realise the correlation between having a baby and being successful in business. By challenging and reframing the belief that pregnancy provides business with a bundle of problems to solve and maternity leave is a drain on company resources, she’s proved women, men and business can thrive when the experience of pregnancy and new motherhood is viewed and managed differently.
"Great initiative. Vote in support. Maternity discrimination is worse than ever". Fawcett Society
What are our #VOOM plans?
1. Create a positive community that will help bring about a ground-breaking shift in current attitudes and behaviour.
We know there are thousands of women who are undervaluing the skills they have and this is costing the economy billions. Our short-term goal is to attract an initial group of 1,000 Founder Members (women, men, mothers and mothers-to-be) from a variety of businesses and industries across the UK, who will help us shape plans to deliver our 3 Aims. They will support the Bumps and the Boardroom ethos simply by living and breathing its beliefs in the way they work and play. They will share positive stories and "how-to's" to inspire new practices, understanding and behaviour throughout the working population.
Longer term we expect our membership to grow exponentially.
As a Founder Member you will receive:-
- An invitation to our quarterly in-person group breakfast meetings
- Monthly group call to update on plans and progress and listen to your ideas
- Private LinkedIn group to connect with other working parents or parents-to-be
- Early access to our membership site and a host of training goodies
Plans for our membership will grow as our community does.
We want to showcase businesses who are thinking and behaving differently to show others what is possible. Companies who want to support us can join as a Corporate Founder Member.
2. Raise funds to start the development of an online hub.
Our Founder Membership creates a revenue stream but in order to build an interactive tech platform which consolidates learning and information we need to raise a minimum of £50k to start the process, hire developers and a small team to create the content and initial information we want to share. We will highlight online legal resources and guidelines for women and mens' parental rights but what we will add is how to tap into your heart, connect with your emotional intelligence and become empowered to clarify all your needs going forward. We want to see a virtual wall of stories that women and men of all ages can be inspired by - to show a new business normal that values profit, personal happiness and sustainability in equal measure. We will draw from start-ups, entreprenurs and established businesses to show how pregnancy can be a gift for all.
The way we work is changing with talent demanding flexibility and freedom and smart businesses creating a shared connection to goals. A transactional or subserviant employer/employee relationship is not recommended for success. We will offer guidance for those entering the workplace and in their 20's, 30's and 40's to plan for pregnancy and parenthood and chose a company or a career path that will allow them to flourish, personally and professionally. We will foster mutal respect so companies aren't left in the dark or penalised when they hire women.
3. Establish a virtual Training Academy to create Licensed Mentors who teach a new way of managing maternity.
The seeds for a mothers' return (or not) are often sown before conception, during her pregnancy and before maternity leave starts yet so many companies focus their resources on the return to work period after maternity leave ends. Return-ship programmes assume women want to take an extended career break but many women have shared they'd prefer a more balanced and flexible pathway that supports them as their family grows rather than having to make a choice for one lifestyle or another.
Creating a new corporate culture that says "its ok to feel differently now you are a parent and we value that shift in you" will allow women and men to share roles at home and at work. It will produce commercial success which is sustainable for businesses of all size and industry and stop the rise of maternity discrimination, which is at worryingly high levels.
"This is a fantastic initiative. I hope many, many new mothers will benefit from the support Bumps and the Boardroom can provide - and be able to achieve the work life fit they want as a result. Her Start-up idea has got my vote". Julia Waltham, Head of Campaigns and Policy Working Families
What do YOU need to do?
#Vote for Change (an easy click on this page)
#Pledge what you can (an equally easy click)
#Share this message with others and invite their support (on Twitter, Facebook, by email and word-of-mouth)
- Changing how women who become mothers are seen will allow a new power and femininity to rise throughout business and into our corporate boardrooms.
- Company boards will become more balanced, and women and men can decide who cares for their baby based on talent and potential - not gender expectations.
- Parents and particularly mothers, can be celebrated and elevated in our society rather than discriminated against.
What’s already in place?
Maternity Action and the Alliance against Pregnancy Discrimination are campaigning for the Government to introduce more robust policies to protect women and improve their access to legal recourse.
Some companies do provide maternity coaching programs; enhanced parental leave packages; training for managers; support for colleagues; progressive women’s networks and return-ship programs but it's not mandatory and not all companies have the resources or know where to start.
Often the rhetoric doesn’t match the reality and the overall culture and view of pregnancy at work still remains, despite lots of good intention and investment.
We want to help men, women and business share the responsibility for managing maternity and see pregnancy and the transition to motherhood differently.
We want to help businesses of all sizes, across all industries, benefit.
Founder Lisa Barnwell had a 10 year worldwide corporate career in hotel sales. She enjoyed a 6 year "sabbatical" in Australia where she re- trained as a therapist before returning to the UK to work with women during pregnancy. It was a life experience she found fascinating and incredible.
She created SW London's first dedicated clinic for mums and babies and her warm, personable approach allowed her to gain honest answers to the questions she started asking.
Bumps and the Boardroom was the name she chose two years ago to promote a series of online conversations around how to better manage maternity after she realised she had spent 12 years listening, talking to and observing the mindset and emotional behavior of over 2000 women across all industries. Her clients were women in finance, fashion, law, property, tech, media and retail but she discovered there were similarities that most business fell foul of - failing to value their female talent effectively and losing smart women who gave up trying to prove their worth.
Lisa currently delivers her unique 12-month maternity programs to corporates who want to learn the pregnancy advantages for business and is writing her first book.
Bumps and the Boardroom has a BIG VISION to create real change and #VOOM is the first step.
"Voted, Lisa! Wonderful work, and best of luck." Amanda Feldman, Director, Bridge Ventures
Please add your support today.
Lisa Barnwell and the Bumps and the Boardroom Team.
*Robert Walters: Attracting and Engaging Women Returning to the Workforce. See further statistics from the EHRC website, Fawcett Society, Maternity Action and She's Back.