The maternity workwear dilemma
When you’re at a job that requires a uniform, then “casual dress” or “jeans days” are something to look forward too. However imagine being in a physical job, often in the heat, pregnant and made to wear jeans to work each day… doesn’t seem so fun now does it! Shockingly this is the reality for a lot of pregnant women working in heavy duty or industrial roles. As the months progress and their baby bumps grow, working women that aren’t provided with maternity workwear options are having to choose between over-sized men’s cargos or jeans to wear on site. It’s a dilemma alright.
You may be asking, well why don’t they speak up and say something? The truth is that their requests either fall on deaf ears or they don’t even know that hi vis maternity workwear exists. This is why Co Gear is passionate about advocating for these women. We aren’t afraid to share our experiences, and your experiences with ill-fitting and uncomfortable workwear, to employers and companies, helping them make life altering decisions such as adding a maternity workwear option to their uniform lists - in turn helping them contribute to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
The creation of our Susannah hi vis maternity cargo pants was the first real option for pregnant women working in roles that demanded safety compliant hi vis cargos. Founder Kym Clark had already designed and launched the popular Baby Bump maternity shirt, and it was when the heads of companies like AGL and BHP started asking for matching maternity cargos, she realised that shirts were only half of the equation for maternity wear.
Having never made maternity pants before, it took a great deal of trial and error before Kym was ready to pilot the first design. Women in the Pilbara and Central Queensland took part in this testing phase and thanks to their feedback, the design was overhauled to make them easier to get in and out of - a tweak we thought was critical! After becoming the preferred maternity PPE for a number of large companies, Susannah was redesigned again with the help of working women, and is now known as Sue.
Co Gear proudly recognises that by creating Australia’s first ever hi vis maternity range, we have begun to change women’s lives and their workplace culture by knocking down barriers and challenging the status quo. Our next generation maternity workwear range, now consists of the Mae Maternity hi vis workshirt, the Sue over tummy hi vis maternity work cargos and the Suzie under tummy hi vis maternity cargos.
We still have a long way to go and there’s a lot of important conversations to be had with companies and employers who haven’t jumped on board to provide maternity workwear options for their staff. Pregnant women shouldn’t have to front the expense of buying multiple sizes or having to look different to everyone else. If you or your workplace would like to chat further about this topic, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help! No more jeans. No more men’s sized clothing. No more exclusion.