The gender pay gap is largely because of motherhood

    By: Clair Fuller on May 15, 2017

    Claire Cain Miller writes, "When men and women finish school and start working, they're paid pretty much equally. But a gender pay gap soon appears, and it grows signficantly over the next two decades. 

    So what changes? The answer can be found by looking at when the pay gap widens most charply. It's the late 20s to mid-30s, according to two new studies--in other words, when many women have children. Unmarried women without children continue to earn closer to what men do.

    The big reason having children, and even marrying in the first place, hurts women's pay relative to men's is that the division of labor at home is still unequal, even when both spouses work full time. That's especially true for college-educated women in high-earning occupations: children are particularly damaging to their careers.


    Some women work less once they have children, but many don't, and employers pay them less, too, seemingly because they assume they will be less committed, research shows.

    Even when mothers cut back at work, they are not paid proportinately less. When their pay is calculated on an hourly basis, they are still paid less than men for the hours they work."


    Released: May 15, 2017, 9:50 am
    Keywords: NAWL News

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