On May 22nd, 2019, six-time Olympic gold medalist, Allyson Felix joined her colleagues in breaking their nondisclosure agreements to reveal Nike’s lack of maternity protection for female athletes in an Op-Ed for the New York Times.

In the article, Felix narrated a harrowing experience of what it felt like to be denied maternity protection after prematurely delivering her baby due to severe pre-eclampsia at 32 weeks of gestational age. What’s more, she’s not the only one who’s come forward with reports of discrimination. Alysia Montaño, Kara Goucher and Phoebe Wright – all Nike sponsored runners – have bravely given an account of the financial penalties handed out by an organization that urges women to “dream crazier.”

The results of breaking their silence have been remarkable. In the same month that Montaño and Felix broke their silence, the company surrendered to the backlash and changed its policy. While this isn’t the first time an organization has been criticized, Felix’s and her colleagues’ actions led to the hashtag #dreammaternity, a renewed focus on their personal brands and a closer look at how companies are responding to social issues.

What is the connection between a well-decorated Olympian and fighting to change unpaid maternity

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