Should Moms Make Less?

Featured / From Reva / Uncategorized / February 7, 2011

Of course I’m going to say No.

But the reality is that they do and that the labor market  remains punishing to mothers.

Jane Waldfogel, a Columbia University professor who studies families and work, sums it up as, “Women do almost as well as men today as long as they don’t have children.”

Recently, The Brazen Careerist posted a guest blog that attempted to rationalise the reason for this gap.

The argument? Moms get paid less, since they work less.  Since they work less, they are subsequently less qualified in the long-term.  Work in this case, was being defined as time in the office (and not results).

That presumption was just one weakness picked up by the over 120  incredibly interesting comments that the post received.

My take? Almost all the MomShifters I’ve interviewed who are professionals working in a non-hourly rate job (keep in mind that this is almost 100 women now) strongly suspected (and few had been able to confirm) that yes, they were being paid less than their male counterparts.  But all said that there was little they could actually do about it.

The problem? How salaries are arrived at is subjective and that’s where and why perception matters so much.  As one comment pointed out, the perception is that working mothers are less productive (whereas for fathers, its the opposite).  And the penalty for that belief is reflected in the paycheck.

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1 Comment

on February 7, 2011

You raise a great point – if anything working mothers are more productive during the 9-5 bc they know they have to get the kids before the daycare closes and the mom shift starts!

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