Author's book 'The Setback Cycle,' is helping others navigate career roadblocks

Amy Shoenthal's book also highlights her experience with workplace discrimination

ByLindsay Tuchman WABC logo
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
Author's latest book is helping others navigate career roadblocks
Lindsay Tuchman has the latest from Sunnyside with Amy Shoenthal's new book about women in the workplace.

SUNNYSIDE, Queens (WABC) -- In celebration of Women's History Month, Eyewitness News is highlighting an author and activist whose latest book speaks about the struggles many women face in the workplace, a subject the Queens native has plenty experience with.

Sunnyside resident Amy Shoenthal knew when she got pregnant in 2018, things would not be easy at her marketing job.

"Business is always done at the bar, that was the saying, and it was really fun, I loved it," Shoenthal said. "I got caught up in that culture very much, but when I got pregnant I was very scared to tell my department heads and my coworkers because I knew I couldn't participate as much in that culture anymore," Shoenthal said.

What the former senior vice president didn't know though, was that when she came back from her 12-week maternity leave, things wouldn't ever go back to the way they were.

"I remember having a lunch with my manager and I said, 'what's the status of this account?' And in these exact words he said, 'you don't have to worry about that anymore,' and it crushed me," she said.

She did keep working, but also started a writing and consulting LLC on the side, a path that when she eventually got laid off a few years later, she easily pivoted to.

She also wrote a book, helping others navigate any type of career sidelining: 'The Setback Cycle: How Defining Moments Can Move Us Forward.'

"They're forming their own businesses and are creating their own systems and structures because enough waiting for progress that's just taking too long to happen," Shoenthal said.

According to a study by Morning Consult, one in five mothers say they have experienced some sort of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

Marjorie Mesidor, a partner at the Wigdor Law firm as an employment discrimination attorney, has represented hundreds of cases like Shoenthal's.

"Adjusting to the life changes of your employees is the cost of doing business," Mesidor said. "Pregnancy should not get a special asterisk next to it as being negative, it should not be seen as detrimental, it should not be seen as a burden," Mesidor said.

For Shoenthal, it's been transformational.

"Once you start to explore all the opportunities available to you, you'll be amazed at how capable you are and how you are able to find new things that light you up," she said.


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