Stevenage HR consultant joins campaign to stamp out discrimination against working mums


A human resources consultant who struggled to return to work following the birth of her daughter has started her own business and is now dedicated to helping other mothers in a similar situation.

Anna Ives has set up HR Puzzle - an independent HR consultancy service at the Business Technology Centre in Stevenage.

In May 2015, while pregnant, Anna was made redundant. After nine months on maternity leave, she began to look for a part-time job in her sector.

Anna said: “I struggled to find anything and, after a lot of thought and planning, I decided to set up my own HR business and began trading in November 2016, on my daughter’s first birthday.”

Anna began to realise that women struggling to secure part-time positions or flexible working following maternity leave is a widespread problem.

She said: “I am now campaigning for more businesses to take on flexible roles, and I offer support with training, recruitment and family-friendly policies.

“I also help to support mums with getting back to work after maternity leave - applying for flexible working, or with guidance on how to appeal if a flexible working application is rejected, with a lady called Joeli Brearley, who runs a great campaign called Pregnant Then Screwed.”

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On October 31, Anna will be joining the campaign’s March of the Mummies event in London, when people from across the UK will join a rally for the rights of working mums and demand action from the Government to stamp out discrimination.

The march, which starts at Trafalgar Square at noon and runs until 2pm, coincides with Halloween and those attending are encouraged to dress as mummies - the walking dead kind.

Anna said: “Since June, I have helped 50 women through the campaign. A lot of these women don’t mind working full-time, but may just want to work from home a couple of days a week. It seems ridiculous in this day and age that that is so difficult to do.

“It’s so unfair to penalise new mothers who just want some flexibility.”

Anna’s HR services also include contract writing, policy and processes, employment law advice, recruitment, training, company handbooks, performance issues and absence management.

For more information, visit, email or call 07960113252.

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