Colleague comes to the rescue when BBC presenter goes into labour at work

Colleague comes to the rescue when BBC presenter goes into labour at work

Victoria Fritz, a presenter on BBC Breakfast, went into labour three weeks early shortly after finishing reading the news – and her colleague, Sally Nugent, stepped in and stayed with her when Fritz’s husband Dan was unable to make it due to traffic.

Nugent embodied calmness and showed that a caring workplace culture transcends the environment that it is created in. 

A BBC spokesperson said: "When Sally heard that she'd gone into labour she offered to be there until Victoria's husband got there. But her husband never arrived so she found herself at the birth."

But with the good news arises the issue of potential discrimination.

Fritz, upon her return, will be a “formidable resource”, according to Cilla Snowball, Group Chairwoman and Group CEO of advertising and communications group AMV BBDO.

Writing for the Chartered Management Institute earlier this year, she said: “Returning mums are a formidable resource; organised, decisive, grounded.

“In our own company we have hired and promoted pregnant and returning mums to top jobs and we will continue to do so to hang on to the best talent.

“As business leaders, we can't allow ourselves to get complacent because today's data clearly shows there is tons more to do. Some 84% [according to Working Forward] [of] employers say they are firm supporters of female staff during and after pregnancy, but 77% of working mothers say they have received negative or possible discriminatory experiences at work.

“We have to fix this disconnect fast and remove discrimination because it is unlawful and unacceptable. We have to find modern solutions; outdated attitudes and unhelpful structures must not hold us back.

“After all, we all have a mum who would be proud of us for doing so, a country and an economy that needs us to, and a conscience that insists we do.”

However, Lady Barbara Judge CBE, the first Chairwoman of the Institute of Directors, controversially said last month that new mums should get a nanny or risk losing their job.

Speaking in a personal capacity, according to MailOnline, at the Wealth Management Association's Women In Wealth Forum, she said: “I know it’s counter-cultural but I think long maternity breaks are bad for women. 

"A friend of mine worked at Reckitt Benckiser and wanted to take a year off to look after her adopted baby. I told her: ‘You’re mad. You have a great job and, trust me, you’ll lose it if you take a year off’.

"She took 12 month's maternity leave, she returned to work – and then three months later the financial crisis hit. The first job they cut was hers. Why? Because her boss had been doing her job for a year. They realised they didn’t need her.” 

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