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The Locked Down and Locked Out survey heard from more than 500 working mothers. Here are some of their choice quotes about the challenges they faced during the pandemic: 


“The TV industry doesn’t care about freelancers, our mental well-being or our safety - we are disposable and it’s fundamentally rotten at its core.”

"I feel like my career has ended. I don’t see any possible way I can return to a freelance role with twoyoung children and the lack of job roles on offer."

"It has made me realise what an unstable industry TV is and how precarious I am. Considering giving up working in TV as I don’t believe the infrastructure and will is there to support freelancers."

Mental health

"As a freelancer in TV, admitting you’re struggling isn’t really an option as they just won’t carry on hiring you."

"Expected to work most evenings and early mornings to feel I am not letting my employer or kids down. Heightened anxiety when trying to homeschool, work, cook and clean up. Feeling like I am a failure."

Losing work

“I've been forced to choose: kids or job. I feel bitterly angry that it's me who has to fall on my sword.”

"I was let go early from a six-month contract with no notice at all. My contract was worthless in the end, no loyalty whatsoever - 10 of us freelancers were all let go on the same day."

"I have had to pass work onto male, childless friends who have been more flexible, so I feel women and mothers have gone massively backwards this year."

"I had to move from our cottage and sell all our possessions and furniture. We now live with my parents in their 80s and I’m fast becoming their carer. It feels like a trap we’ll struggle to ever get out of. I used to earn 80k a year, I’m now broke earning £10.99ph as an NHS vaccinator (20 hours a week)."

Industry attitudes

"Being a mother in TV was always a nightmare; now it feels impossible."

"I feel I was penalised for being a mother."

“I am at a loss as to what to do. I am an educated, successful professional who feels like I have no options available and have been forced through a combination of factors to become a housewife. I love my career, but I fear that it will be impossible to continue unless opportunities and attitudes change towards mothers.”

"I didn't feel it was an option for me to go part-time at any point, because the TV industry would look unforgivingly on a woman doing that."

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