Thursday, June 04, 2015

Working mothers make less than working fathers in every state, women lawyers' study says

While working women make 78 cents for every dollar men earn, mothers who work full-time make only 70 cents per dollar earned by fathers who work full-time, says a study by the National Women's Law Center. The gap is even bigger in some states with large rural popuations, led by Louisiana, where working mothers make 58.2 cents for every dollar working men make.

Other such states where the gap is bigger than 30 cents per every dollar are Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Idaho, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The smallest gap is in California, where working mothers make 76.4 cents for every dollar working fathers make. Arkansas is second at 74.6, followed by Oregon and Florida, at 74.5.

The largest overall wage gap was in New Jersey, where working fathers make $25,000 more annually than mothers, Danielle Paquette reports for The Washington Post. In six other states fathers made more than $20,000 a year more than women: Alaska ($21,000), Utah ($21,000), Wyoming ($22,000), Massachusetts ($23,000), Louisiana ($23,000), Connecticut ($25,000). (National Women's Law Center map: For an interactive version click here)
Researchers wrote: “Stereotypes about mothers and fathers contribute to this disparity. Mothers are recommended for significantly lower starting salaries, perceived as less competent and are less likely to be recommended for hire than non-mothers.”

"The psychological impact of receiving less pay for equal work can be devastating," Paquette writes.  "Expectant mothers, anticipating judgement amid an otherwise joyful time, sometimes hide their bellies for as long as possible—or plunge into overdrive at work to combat the stereotype, often at the expense of their health."

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