I was speaking to some new mothers who have recently returned to work and they were speaking about pumping breast milk in the office.
In the case of one, her company had moved to swish new offices while she was on maternity leave made entirely of glass. “Where,” she asked her partners “am I going to pump?” They looked at their feet and suggested a glass room off reception. When she had withered them with a single glance, they suggested the bathroom. She reduced them to little piles of dust and they finally found the one room in the building that was not a toilet, not made of glass and came with a lock.
My other friend travels around for work and has to ask for a room where she can pump. Her favourite was when she was given a room with a CCTV camera.
None of this can cap the story a Finnish friend told me in Brussels. She worked for a very right-on development NGO. One day, while she was pumping at lunch time, her (female) boss came into the office and started talking to her about work. My friend said that this wasn’t a great time for her. Her boss said, “Oh I don’t mind,” and kept talking until my friend pointed out that she DID mind and asked her boss to leave which the boss duly did saying there was no need to be embarrassed.
The whole thing is fraught, I tell you, fraught. Share your own story, ah go on, do.