Emily’s news Weiss who took on the role of chairman of Glossier from her former position as CEO was fraught with gender bias in the way it was treated by the media.
Even the more balanced coverage still emphasized that she is currently pregnant, as if it inevitably played a part in her decision, even though Official statement from Weiss on the matter made no mention of family, pregnancy or children.
Progress has certainly been made in recent years, but we cannot deny that we still have prejudices and assumptions about pregnant women in business. “How much free time will they take?” “Are they going back?” “Will they work as hard as before?” “Who’s going to look after their baby?”
I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after my health technology company raised a $14 million Series A in January 2021. And as someone who had experienced the trauma of a miscarriage before, I had thrown myself completely into my other baby — my company. The news of a new pregnancy meant that I had to take care of myself and my business in a new way.
While the experience varies greatly and there is no “right” path to take, I want to share what worked for me when I was a pregnant founder and CEO. Kelsey Mellard
While the experience varies greatly from woman to woman, and there is no “right” road to take, I want to share what worked for me when I was a pregnant founder and CEO. Women come to me at conferences or grab me at events looking for specific and actionable advice, so I’m here to share what worked for me.
First and foremost, I decided to be honest with my investors and not delay the news or withhold information. I hadn’t even told some of my family before I chose to tell my investors – I had to share the news. When I entered the conversation, I was incredibly nervous, so I decided not to start a conversation. My first words were, “I’m excited to announce that George and I are having a baby.”
I am fortunate to have chosen partners such as Bryan Roberts and Dr. Bob Kocher from Venrock, Stephen Renfro at Optum Ventures, Hunter Walk at Homebrew and the team at First Round Capital, and they were all incredibly helpful. In the midst of the pandemic, when things looked so bleak, their faces lit up when they heard the news.
Investors are your business partners; they are people you will have a relationship with that will last several years, so it is important to understand their point of view on topics outside of work before taking a check. My investors had chosen to bet on me. So now having a baby was going to be part of our new game plan, and they understood that.