“Telling your boss that you are pregnant is supposed to be such a happy occasion,” Kimura says, “but it turned out to be such an awful experience. I was shaking.”But Kimura wasn’t completely surprised, either—she’d seen her boss treat her female coworkers the same way when they became pregnant. “Every woman who used to work for this company, except for one, who lost her husband right after childbirth, got fired and left.”Kimura saw the landscape in her office and took what she thought were preventative steps. Two years before she got pregnant, she went to the president of the company to negotiate her potential future maternity leave with him directly. He assured her that if she became pregnant, her job would be waiting for her when she returned from maternity leave. Once she actually became pregnant, he told her he didn’t recall the conversation.Yukari Horie is working to help women like Kimura and to change the status quo. She heads Arrow Arrow, a nonprofit that advocates for work-life balance and teaches employers about harassment and how to talk to their employees.”I always explain that taking maternity leave is constitutional,” Horie says. In 2014, Japan’s supreme court ruled it illegal to demote a woman due to pregnancy following a case in which a hospital physiotherapist who had requested a lighter workload during her pregnancy was demoted.