Survey: Pregnant women worry about telling employers

Published: Apr. 3, 2019 at 3:59 PM EDT
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A former Netflix executive is suing the video streaming giant and reportedly claims she was fired after announcing her pregnancy. Netflix says the claims are unfounded. The news comes as a survey reveals more women are worried about telling their employers they're pregnant.

When working mom Lauren Hughes found out she was pregnant with her third child, she was happy to share the news with her family but she was a little worried what her employer might think. "I think that is a big concern for a lot of women," Hughes said. That's why she took steps to protect herself. "I even consulted a lawyer before talking to my employer because I was in the finance industry and was very concerned about this."

A new survey shows that 21 percent of working women are nervous to tell their boss they are pregnant. That's a big jump from just five years ago. Maribeth Bearfield is with Bright Horizons which commissioned the study. "That was startling to us because we believe we are a workforce that is evolving and that is being more understanding of situations such as this, the study showed us differently," she said.

The study also revealed why more women may be nervous. It found 69 percent of people say working mothers are more likely to be passed up for a new job than other employees. Ironically, most people also believe mothers possess the skills needed to be a good business leader. Experts say it's important for women who are expecting, to expect fair treatment from their company. "Talk to your human resources department, make sure someone understands what you are going through and can be a support for you in that," Bearfield said.

That support can also benefit business. The study found 40 percent of moms say they will stay with a company if they are given an equal opportunity to advance.