It is essential to remember that all women do not want the same things. There is usually an assumption that women want to balance life and work. They will not come back to work once they take off for maternity. Or that they will want a lighter workload with “increasing responsibilities” at home.
All these are true in some cases but do not apply to all women.
I learnt this the hard way. I remember when someone came back from maternity leave, and everyone (including me!) thought that she would want a lighter workload, and we moved her to another function.
It turned out that she was passionate about her project and had made all arrangements for childcare to work in the area that she wanted to contribute to.
Unfortunately, our biases and assumptions came in the way. She ended up leaving the company. For me, it was a huge lesson learnt. Not to make assumptions, even if you feel you are doing what is best for the other person.