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Joeli Brearley has spent her career working in the arts and digital technology, managing complex innovation processes and projects.

When she was 4 months pregnant with her first child she was exposed

to the detrimental impact motherhood can have on a woman’s career.


Shocked and hurt by her own experience, then subsequently appalled by the stories she went

on to hear, she decided that something needed to be done. Joeli

set up Pregnant Then Screwed in March 2015, a project and campaign designed to expose the systemic problem of pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the UK.


First and foremost, Pregnant Then Screwed is a place for women to tell their stories anonymously and in their own words. This is not only a cathartic way for women to release some of the bruising experienced but it also gives the victims a voice. The project quickly generated a huge response in the UK and soon requests started pouring in from other countries for their own version of the campaign.

Joeli continues to campaign for the rights of women to have children and a successful career. Joeli has written articles on the topic for publications including The Guardian, The Metro and The Telegraph. She is the 2019 Northern Power Women ‘Agent for Change’ winner and one of the Observers 50 New Radicals 2018.

Her first book, The Motherhood Penalty, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2021.


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