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The cost of being a working mother? $18,000 a year, study says

Erika Beras May 10, 2019
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Four times more women than men dropped out of the job market in September. martinedoucet/E+/Getty Images

The cost of being a working mother? $18,000 a year, study says

Erika Beras May 10, 2019
Four times more women than men dropped out of the job market in September. martinedoucet/E+/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The wage gap between working mothers and working fathers is at least $18,000 a year, according to a new analysis by the National Women’s Law Center. It’s even larger for women of color: black mothers lose $30,000 a year; Latina mothers, $35,000.

Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality at the National Women’s Law Center, said discrimination and stereotypes about mothers’ commitment to work are to blame.

“Women still shoulder the majority of responsibility for caregiving, and that has an impact on women’s paychecks,” she said. 

The types of jobs women tend to have also have an impact. Women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs like home health care aide and underrepresented in high-paying jobs like app developer.

Beth Humberd with the Center for Women and Work at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell said that in order to narrow that wage gap, policymakers need to address caregiving with “policies that shrink the gap in the time demand. So things like publicly funded high-quality child care,” she said. 

Some states are making inroads with new parental leave policies and higher minimum wages. South Carolina recently passed a law that protects pregnant women at work.  

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