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New Study Finds Working Moms Are at a Disadvantage

Working Moms Offered $11,000 Less Than Non-Mothers

We’re all (unfortunately) quite aware by now of the gender gap that exists in the American workplace. But did you know there are also some pretty serious discrepancies among women? A new study comparing mothers to non-mothers in the workplace has found that working moms are at a major disadvantage.

The study compared the perceptions of two nearly identical resumes. The only real difference? One listed "member of the PTA" as an activity, while the other listed "fundraiser for the neighborhood association." To see what researchers found,


  • On average, mothers were offered $11,000 a year less than non-mothers.
  • The applicants with a "mom" resume were viewed as less competent, and were less likely to be recommended for hire than non-mothers.
  • Women with children were also viewed as less promotable and less committed to their jobs, and weren't as likely to be recommended for management positions.
  • Non-mothers were more than twice as likely as mothers to get a call back from employers.

As icing on the cake, when the same experiments were performed with male applicants, men with children were actually viewed more favorably than those without kids. What are your thoughts on this study? Have you noticed any of these discrepancies in your own workplace?


Join The Conversation
BettyRN BettyRN 8 years
Interesting. I do hiring in the field of nursing, so most applicants are women, but I am by law not allowed to ask about their family , children, sexual orientation, etc. However, I fired one nurse with full approval of her union rep when she claimed she was late most days because of child care issues. I told her I wasn't allowed to ask her about children in her interview, so she isn't allowed to use them as an excuse for poor performance. This story makes me wonder if her husband was on time every day, and being rewarded for doing it AND being a dad at the same time :(
phatE phatE 8 years
chouette is so right, i think it's how the mom presents herself.. wtf is a "mom" resume.. see while these mom's are having children and doing their thing, the world is actually still moving forward.. people are gaining more experience, and the competition is actually alot steeper b/c of the "economy" and what not. if working mom's want to be treated like their non-mom counterparts, they really need to step up their game.. meaning take the PTA crap off your resume, dress appropriately, and follow up after interviews.. don't wear the i'm a mom sign, because really any one who displays something that would automatically trump their commitments at work is going to have a harder time landing a job than the person who is willing to move in and sleep there. i am not saying that's right or fair, just how it is.. if i was in their place, i would realize that while you may be making less, you have more flexibility automatically and in the long run that may be a better bargain than the extra 11k a year.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
Well putting "PTA" on your resume is just not smart to begin with (with a few exceptions I guess).
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
see this doesn't make me feel good about the future. i am in a position where i know that i'm going to have a child soon and i hoped that it could some how help me negotiate a bit more - but from this i'm seeing the opposite.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
This is very interested. At my last job, mothers and fathers were rewarded for getting married and having babies over women and men that were single. The non-profit was ran like a corporation and very family oriented.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Has anyone read "I Don't Know How She Does It?" It's a fictional book but goes into the idea that mothers who work are bad mothers/ bad workers but FATHERS who work are seen as providers and better workers. Anyhow, I would be hesitant to put anything "mommy related" on my resume (like PTA, girl scout leader, etc.) BUT I wouldn't want to work somewhere where I was penalized for being a mother. Fortuantly, I'm a government attorney and our office is very family friendly :)
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