Penalties of Being a Mother

Posted on August 24th, 2016 by

gender_gap_chart via bbc


A report has been published showing that women who have children lag behind men in the pay stakes. It comes from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and mirrors a similar report produced by the TUC in March 2016.

On average, women earn 18% less per hour than men, according to the IFS research. However, this gap between men’s and women’s hourly pay rates has been closing in recent decades – it was 23% in 2003 and 28% in 1993.
But after women return to work following the birth of a first child, that wage difference per hour widens steadily.”This apparent wage penalty for taking time out of paid work is greater for more highly educated women, at 4% for each year out of paid work,” the IFS found.
“The lowest-educated women (who actually take more time out of paid work after childbirth) do not seem to pay this particular penalty, probably because they have less wage progression to miss out on.”

I tweeted about this report and very helpfully a lovely chap pointed out to me that it was probably because men were better respected in the workforce than women. I hope you will be proud of me, dear reader, because I forbore to reply.

Surely it is the mark of a civilised society that we make equal arrangements for women and men to be involved in parenting and not suffer a penalty? The world needs women to have children and children need good parenting. The world also needs a diverse, and gender equal group of people running it.

If you’d like to download a copy of the full report this link will take you to the page on the IFS website.

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