skip to main content

Musician Speaks Out on Discrimination Faced During Pregnancy

MU member and harpist Cecilia De Maria took to Facebook and Instagram, to spread an important message about why so many women in the music industry are scared of their work being affected by people finding out that they are pregnant.

Published: 24 August 2021 | 12:25 PM

In Cecilia De Maria’s post, the musician describes how she discovered that several agencies had stopped booking her because they had presumed that she was cutting back on work due to her pregnancy. She goes on to detail how she is actually busier than ever, and the effect that presumptions like this about pregnant people can have.


A post shared by Cecilia (@ceciliademaria)

Maternity, Adoption and Parental Rights

Pregnancy discrimination is a trade union issue, and we’d encourage any members affected to contact their Regional Office in the first instance.

It is against the law for your employer to treat you unfairly, dismiss you or select you for redundancy for any reason connected with pregnancy, childbirth or maternity leave.

All employees, casual workers, agency workers, freelancers and contractors are protected by discrimination law from day one of their employment.

You can find out more on our advice pages on maternity, adoption and parental rights, members may also find the advice on Maternity Action’s website useful.

To read more about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, and the inspiring musicians lobbying for change, see our article on how mothers are fighting workplace discrimination in music.

Working with or hiring pregnant musicians?

Some simple advice for anyone working with and hiring pregnant musicians:

  • Pregnant women know their bodies best, don’t make assumptions about what they can’t do – ask them.
  • Don’t make decisions on behalf of pregnant women – speak to them.
  • Being pregnant doesn’t mean people can’t work. Pregnant women can work for as long as they want, right up until the baby is born.
  • Because of people making decisions about what pregnant women can and can’t do, women are hiding their pregnancies for fear of not being booked for work – this is dangerous.

It was great to hear in Cecilia's post about the positive support she received from employers @chichesterft and @sony.classical.

If you experience pregnancy or maternity related discrimination contact your Regional Office for advice and support.

Get MU membership today

From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

Explore our member services

  • Get public liability insurance for musicians
  • Access expert legal support
  • Be represented in your profession
  • Access expert career advice, resources, and training events
  • Connect, network, and get to know the community of musicians

Learn about all membership benefits

Get MU membership today

Continue reading