Pregnant and working in UAE - What does it mean for Working Mothers?

8th May 2019

Were you working while you were pregnant? Is your work pregnancy story worth sharing? If so, we would love to hear about your experience in helping create a better infrastructure to support working women in UAE. Please take a couple of minutes to participate in the quick 10 question pre-selection survey below. 

- Mums at work

You're pregnant... what next?

How do you tell your Boss or HR dept that you are pregnant?  Simple - Throw yourself a Pregnancy Party - it’s just as good of news as to when you got married... Right?  If only it was that easy to do so without feeling your letting people down!!

Pregnancy at work is still a widely misunderstood and grey area within organisations that leaves the majority of mums questioning their identities, their self-worth followed by persistent anxiety and thoughts of career progression post-partum. Women are and will continue to be the primary provider for child-care at home, while also providing financially, this can create internal turmoil that the majority of mothers complain about and feel they are fighting alone.

According to the United Nations report of 2017-2018, a healthy average of 2.1 is required to maintain population balance of any region. Currently, UAE stands at 1.8, a significant drop from 6.6 from the 1970s.   This is important to know because, despite the increase in childbirth, the fertility rate is declining in the UAE.  While on the surface level, this may not pose an immediate concern, however, it is crucial to understand the underlying currents of this trend for sustainable development of our society in this region. (Fertility rate is an average number of children born to women during their reproductive years.)

About the study 

Nity is conducting the first-time study in UAE to understand the challenges that a working professional woman faces dealing with the pregnancy, which still carries a negative stigma and bias globally. The objective of the study is to understand what measures a professional woman is taking to keep up with their corporate image, despite the growing concern of how a women’s perception of herself changes during pregnancy, and also how others view her during this period.  Many professional women at this juncture leave the workforce altogether to either start their own business or be a full time stay at home mum or work part-time.  So, while many factors are taken into consideration, for the researcher it is imperative to understand how the outcome of the research can help:

i. Implement flexible-work policies across the region in all sectors to help working women and mother alike.

ii. Understand the role of Professional Image Maintenance and techniques used by working women in navigating their pregnancy at work - as the majority of women are heavily tied to the social scene.

iii. Creating practitioner tools and models to help HR and L&D professionals in providing training and leadership workshops for working women.

About the researcher?

Nityashri Bhat Shah is an Organizational Psychology Practitioner and Researcher completing a Thesis/Dissertation with the University of London, Birkbeck College as part of her Master’s Degree.  She is also a Professional Certified Coach with ICF, a facilitator, and a trainer, and has over 8+ years of field and corporate experience in Quality, Training, Performance and Leadership Development. To complement the research, she is the founder of the unique Though Project in UAE named, Aevitas, Art of Conscious Maternity. Geared towards providing Corporate Maternity Coaching and Consulting for New Mothers and instilling a culture of Diversity and Inclusion in organizations.

How you can help? 

If you feel you have a pregnancy work story worth sharing, please fill out the quick 10 question pre-selection survey at the bottom of the page. 

By participating in this research, you would be helping many working women who would walk the same path as you have, and collectively create a positive impact and healthier organisations.


*All personal details are kept strict and confidential* If selected for the research, details of the conversation will be private

This Ramadan, can you give the gift of your pregnancy experience to help the future generation of working women in UAE?

Follow and connect with us