Working mothers: First fired, last hired

images-1One of the greatest ironies of the pay gap is that the most well paid men often have the largest families, whereas women’s pay goes down with each additional child – or about 7-14% less than women without children. That is partly down to some women’s choice to reduce hours. However it’s also because many jobs don’t compensate them enough to offset childcare costs or allow them enough flexibility over the hours they work. Hence they are forced into poorly paid ‘part-time’ jobs with little prospect of growth. Greater flexibility would allow women to maintain full time jobs. For example, you can work 40 hours as a working mother if all 40 don’t have to be continuous or under the nose of your boss.

University of New Mexico research found mothers who lose their jobs have a tougher time of finding new work. As explained by the American Sociological Association: ’In a 2010 survey of laid-off workers across the United States, married moms spent more time between jobs and were overall less likely to find new jobs compared with married dads. Once re-employed, married moms experienced a decrease in earnings of $175 more per week compared with married dads.  The results suggest that the recent recession, dubbed the “man-cession” or “he-cession” because more men than women lost jobs, could also be viewed as a “mom-cession” as laid-off married moms had the hardest time finding new jobs.’ Clearly, there’s a lot more to it than the old chestnut about working mothers ‘not being committed’ – they commit when companies actually take them.

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