The Motherhood Penalty—Alive and "Well" or on Its Way Out?

June 29, 2018

Alise Johnson  Henry

Publication
American Bar Association

Alise Johnson Henry


The worries of a working mother are plentiful. Usually, such concerns run the gamut between whether our children are safe, healthy, and happy to whether a heretofore unannounced school project awaits our “assistance” when we get home. Add to this list, the little discussed “wage gap”—not between men and women—but between working mothers and women without children, commonly referred to as the “motherhood penalty.”

While the gender wage gap continues to narrow (albeit far too slowly for most women), a recent study by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth has concluded that the motherhood penalty has remained virtually unchanged over almost 30 years, and particularly so among high wage earners. While gains among women in education and experience has helped to close the wage gap for all women, the “motherhood penalty” persists with mothers of three or more children making 18 percent less than childless women, and mothers of one to two children making 13-14 percent less.

To read the entire article on the American Bar Association website, click here