It seems entirely reasonable that in many situations a woman who becomes a mother will want to trade in her role for something less demanding.
But what I don't understand is the idea that you should be able to keep exactly the same job, with all the advantages that entails, and work less for it, regardless of how that affects the office or colleagues.
Year-long maternity leave, flexi hours, four day weeks... why would ANY boss hire a woman? Nowadays, the majority of pregnant women I know take close to a year off, during which they are entitled to statutory maternity pay for up to 39 weeks. They return with the expectation and right to have their old job back after 52 weeks.
Except that, when they do return, many of them don't want exactly their old job back. They want the same role but moulded into a time frame that suits family life better.
They want to investigate four-day weeks, flexitime, jobshares, and they often then have another baby and are entitled to take another year off. But is this realistic?
A Last (I promise) Word about the Global Gender Gap Report