Mothers are deemed less desirable employees than fathers, who get paid more
If you're looking to balance your career and motherhood, there is some bad news for you, according to a New York Times report.
Men's earnings increased more than six per cent when they became parents but women earned four per cent less for each child they had, according to a study from University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Sociology professor Michelle Budig.
Ms Budig, who has studied the parenthood pay gap for 15 years, suggests that the difference in the earning of a male and female parent stem from perceived traditional gender roles.
She said: "Employers read fathers as more stable and committed to their work; they have a family to provide for, so they are less likely to be flaky."
Employers: Mothers work less and more distracted
"That is the opposite of how parenthood by women is interpreted by employers," added Ms Budig.
The conventional story is they work less and they're more easily distracted when on the job, she said.
Source: Third Way Publications
Another sociology professor, Ms Shelley J. Correll of Stanford University, also chalked the disparity up to discrimination.
She co-wrote another study in which the researchers sent fake resumes to hundreds of employers.
They were almost identical except for some hints that the applicant was a parent.
Mothers were deemed less desirable as employees than fathers
Ms Correll found that mothers were half as likely to be called back. Fathers, on the other hand, were called back more often than men whose resumes did not mention parenthood.
In the same study, Ms Correll asked participants to act as employers and state how much they would pay prospective employees.
Mothers were offered on average $11,000 less than childless women, and $13,000 less than fathers.
She concluded that employers tended to rate fathers as the most desirable employees, followed by childless women. Mothers were deemed least desirable - just behind childless men.
Source: The New York Times, Third Way Publications