Is Motherhood Hurting Your Career?
Although I’m a working woman, a new report says that when you add motherhood to the mix, (check) it means economic inferiority, and men come out on top.
Women and men with similar qualifications — age, education, experience — are much more likely to be treated similarly today than in the past. The pay gap between them, while still not zero, has shrunk to just a few percentage points. But when you look at the picture a little deeper, there are details that make it clear that men and women do not have equal career paths.
There are still only 15 Fortune 500 companies with a female chief executive. The majority of workers at the management level are also men. Over all, full-time female workers make 23 percent less on average than full-time male workers.
So what is creating the gap between men and women at work? Many more women take time off from work. Many more women work part time at some point in their careers. Many more women can’t get to work early or stay late. And there’s a heavy price that women pay when they stay away from work. It’s very hard to get back on the same career path, especially in this economy.
As Jane Waldfogel, a Columbia University professor who studies families and work, says, “American feminists made a conscious choice to emphasize equal rights and equal opportunities, but not to talk about policies that would address family responsibilities.”
“Women do almost as well as men today,” Ms. Waldfogel said, “as long as they don’t have children.”
A study at the University of Chicago echoed Waldfogel’s remarks. It found that the only subgroup of women whose careers resembled those of men are women who had no children and never took time off.
Madames, do you feel motherhood is the only reason women don’t advance in the workplace? Or is sexism a factor as well?
Tell us about it.