Two days after she informed her employer that she was pregnant with her first child, Joeli Brearley was sacked from her job by voicemail.
Pregnant Then Screwed: Joeli Brearley’s Journey
She was four months pregnant and unemployed with bills to pay. Frighteningly, Joeli’s story is not unique, something she was quick to discover.
On 8 March 2015, International Women’s Day, Joeli launched Pregnant Then Screwed. What started as a space for mothers to share their stories of discrimination has become a national movement and charity dedicated to ending the systemic, cultural, and institutional discrimination faced by thousands of pregnant people and mothers every year.
Joeli has documented everything, from the day she was dismissed from work, to how Pregnant Then Screwed’s research has positively impacted government policy in her first book, Pregnant Then Screwed: The Truth About the Motherhood Penalty and How to Fix It, released 4 March 2021.
Whether you’re a mother who is sick of being side-lined, undermined, and underpaid. A stay-at-home mother who wants to work but can’t afford to. A future parent who is scared that having children will affect your career. Or you simply want a stronger, fairer economy, Pregnant Then Screwed is a manifesto for change and a call to arms for all women and pregnant people.
Join Joeli as she talks about her activism, the impact of Pregnant Then Screwed, her new book, in conversation with activist, PhD researcher, community organiser, Belfast Feminist Network co-founder, and mother, Kellie Turtle.
About the speakers
Joeli launched Pregnant Then Screwed on International Women’s Day 2015 in response to her own experience of pregnancy discrimination. Prior to establishing the organisation, Joeli had been leading on innovation projects working with artists and technologists across Europe. She is a regular media contributor appearing on radio and tv, she writes for the Telegraph and the Independent and has won various awards and accolades for her pioneering work with mothers. She is one of 50 New Radicals 2018, an Inspirational Woman in Public Affairs 2019, an Amnesty International Women Human Rights Defender and in 2019, she was awarded Agent of Change at the Northern Power Women Awards. Elle magazine has described her as ‘ fearsome and funny’.
Kellie has been a feminist activist and organiser for over 10 years. She co-founded Belfast Feminist Network in 2010 and has been an active member of a range of grassroots feminist groups including Alliance for Choice, Rally for Choice and Reclaim the Agenda. Kellie worked as the Women’s Sector Lobbyist for Northern Ireland, based at the Women’s Resource and Development Agency and has previously worked in human rights education and community development. She obtained an MA in Gender and Society from Queen’s University Belfast in 2009 and is currently a PhD researcher at Ulster University.
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