Just over a year ago, world champion athlete Serena Williams, walked off the court at the Australian Open, having earned her place as the world’s number one tennis player, despite playing the tournament whilst in her first trimester.
This week, she stepped out onto the court at the French Open ranked 451st globally.
The reason for Williams’ dramatic descent in the rankings? Her decision to take a year of maternity leave to have her first child.
But away from the court, Williams’ experience reflects a daily reality for working mothers around the world.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a baby is born every two minutes in Australia, the ‘lucky country’. Yet half of their mums will experience discrimination when they return to the workplace after maternity leave.
Williams’ experience is testament to the fact that, when the system is broken, no amount of power or money can shield you from the inherent societal biases that deliver discriminatory blows.