Pregnancy comes with many fears and anxieties, including worrying about job protection. If you’re wondering how—and when—to tell your boss you’re pregnant, you’re not alone. A new study shows a record number of women fear the talk.

According to Bright Horizon’s annual Modern Family Index report, 21 percent of women are afraid to tell their boss that they are pregnant. This number has doubled from 12 percent just five years ago indicating that the workplace is getting more challenging for working moms.

photo: iStockphoto

The report also found that 65 percent of women without kids worry what having a child will mean for their career. Americans surveyed perceive working dads to be more dedicated to their careers than working moms and they also believe dads who work are better able to manage their responsibilities without being stretched too thin than moms who work.

Clearly there’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to how moms are treated in the workplace. Nearly nine out of ten working Americans feel that companies can do more to help foster moms in leadership positions. Creating a more friendly work environment benefits companies as much as employees. According to the report 39 percent of working moms say they will stay with a company if they get assurances that they will have the same growth opportunities as those without kids. Almost one in three (32 percent) will also stay if they are guaranteed that no responsibilities will be taken from them.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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