“I’m Pregnant… and I’m the Boss”
• You’d probably say your agency is your baby…
• …but how do you juggle work while pregnant with one of your own?
• We’ll be talking to Grace Carter, founder of Aphra, about how she ran her newly launched agency while pregnant.
Most agency leaders refer to their business as their baby.
But when you’re expecting a baby of your own, how do you juggle the two?
She launched the agency in January 2018 – and had her daughter a year later.
Trying to win new clients was a whole new experience for Grace while expecting. She didn’t lose any clients BUT she constantly felt she needed to prove herself.
“In the lead up to having my daughter, I couldn’t hide the fact I was pregnant. If I was going to meetings to pitch, I literally had to defend why they should work with me,” Grace explains. “My husband runs a business and no-one ever questions his ability, because no-one could see he was having the child. I had to justify it constantly.”
“I also had a really great support network, but a lot of them were men with kids. They could empathise, but they weren’t in the same position as me.”
For a pregnant agency leader in 2021, there are still numerous bumps in the road.
• There isn’t enough substantial support. “I could get paid maternity leave by the government, but it didn’t cover things like the childcare I needed to keep my business running,” Grace explains.
• The work-life balance is even more difficult. “I wanted flexibility as a mum, but the irony is, I’ve had less,” she says. “From three months, I was working three days a week in the office, the other two days spent with my daughter. I was squeezing in meetings while she was napping – I couldn’t chill out.”
• It still feels like a taboo subject. “It’s almost taboo for a woman to decide that actually, she wants to work and keep her career. I really struggled with my identity and who I was – which hat was I wearing each day?”
“My daughter has kind of grown up with the business,” says Grace. “It’s proving to her that if she has dreams and aspirations, she doesn’t need to ask if it’s possible, because she’s seen me do it.”
Come along to hear Grace’s story and share your own experiences too.