The news from Emily Weiss, who transitioned from her previous position as CEO to chair Glossier, was riddled with gender bias in the way it was reported by the media.
Even the more balanced coverage still emphasized that she is currently pregnant, as if that was inevitably a factor in her decision, though Weiss made no mention of family, pregnancy, or children in his official statement on the matter.
There has certainly been progress in recent years, but we cannot deny that we still harbor prejudices and assumptions about pregnant women in the business world. “How much free time will they take?” “Will they come back?” “Will they work as hard as before?” “Who will babysit?”
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 previously experienced the trauma of miscarriage, I had completely thrown myself into my other baby – my business. The news of another pregnancy meant I had to take care of myself and my business in a new way.
Although experiences vary widely and there is no “right” way, 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” way, I want to share with you what has worked for me when I was a pregnant founder and CEO. Women come to me at conferences or meet me at events for specific and actionable advice, so I’m here to share what has worked for me.
First and foremost, I have chosen to be honest with my investors and not delay the news or withhold information. I hadn’t even told part of my family before deciding to tell my investors — I had to share the news. I was incredibly nervous going into the conversation, so I decided not to start the small talk. My first words were, “I’m delighted to announce that George and I are having a baby.”
I’m fortunate to have partners like Bryan Roberts and Dr. Having picked Venrock’s Bob Kocher, Optum Ventures’ Stephen Renfro, Homebrew’s Hunter Walk and the team at First Round Capital and they have all been incredibly supportive. 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’re people you’ll have a multi-year relationship with, so it’s important to understand their stance on issues outside of work before you do a check. My investors had decided to bet on me. So my having a baby now would become part of our new game plan and they understood that.