UK law firm Burgess Mee has created a new fertility role in its firm to dispel the myth of pregnancy hampering a career
The appointment is believed to be the first of its kind and is currently a part-time role for Natalie Sutherland, who hopes to convince junior solicitors that it is okay to be open about their plans for motherhood.
Natalie, who is an expert in surrogacy and family law, said: “The impression that I and my peers were given early in our careers was ‘If you want to do well, you shouldn’t be having babies until you are established.
“But that compounds the problem because usually you only become established well into your 30s when your fertility is starting to decline.
“As female lawyers, there is a worry that having children before making partnership is essentially career suicide, and I feel strongly that it should not be thought of in that way.”
Natalie, 43, said women are welcoming more fertility benefits in the workplace but they offered no guarantee of a baby and there is a fear that they act as a way for women to delay having children later in life.
Natalie became a mother at 36 after becoming a partner in the firm she worked for but has experienced fertility issues, including a miscarriage.
She told the Daily Mail: “Isn’t it better to have an open culture where young lawyers coming up don’t feel like they have to choose between career and family.”
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