It’s always challenging for women to jump back into work after taking maternity leave. Reshma Sohoni, the cofounder and managing partner of European venture-capital firm Seedcamp, knows that.
Sohoni took six months off when her second child was born, in 2017, and felt rusty and disconnected when she returned to the office, as if she was half a year behind her competitors.
“It wasn't about just coming back to work, it was about being at the top of my game — which is how I expect myself to perform any given day,” she said.
Sohoni’s solution was marshaling her team to introduce a formal, six-month maternity leave policy and offer tailored working arrangements to parents returning to work. She also advocates for companies to offer in-office nurseries or childcare, and last year Seedcamp invested in Peppy — a virtual marketplace that matches parents with industry practitioners such as lactation consultants, and lets employers cover the costs. It has also backed Ben, a workplace-benefits provider, and Spill, a mental-health support tool, to help offer holistic support to employees.
Sohoni could easily have kept her head down and focused on Seedcamp’s investments, which include Revolut, TransferWise, and UiPath. Instead, she continues to fight for parents to have an easier transition back to work than she did, and her efforts promise to make investing more accessible.