“The gender wage gap is much more nuanced than it seems. According to a new study, there is such a thing as a “motherhood penalty” in the United States when it comes to equal pay. Based on years of research, authors concluded that moms have consistently earned less money than women without kids, from the mid-1980s through 2014.
The study was authored by Eunjung Jee and Joya Misra of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Marta Murray-Close, a research economist for the U.S. Census Bureau, and it was published by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. The group examined the wage gap between mothers and women without children over three periods of time: 1986-1995, 1996-2004, and 2006-2014. They discovered that during each of the time periods, the motherhood penalty was consistent. Interestingly, the pay penalty may have gotten worse over time for moms with just one child; however, the gap between childless women and moms with two or more children has actually narrowed.
As the study explained: ‘While the gross gap in pay between childless women and mothers of two or more children has narrowed, it has only done so because mothers’ have increased their investments in human capital, such as education and workforce experience.'”
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