Working moms, should you make less because you have children??

Brandi - posted on 03/10/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/JobClub/study-...



I didn't want to take away from the "Are men and women equal" but women make less money than men, and women with children make even less than those without children.



Is this fair? What do you think?



As a working parent, I find this outrageous. I am no longer a single parent, but I was for a while, and I think that I deserve to make just as much as anyone else. Plus, I am in need of more money. This is not right, IMO.

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Alyssa - posted on 03/11/2011

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I'm not so sure it has much to do with not being able to get a job when your a mother...but more to do with the fact that women who have children take time out from their careers - either altogether or only work part-time (choosing jobs that suit school etc) and inevitably have to "start over" once they return to work full time. Not all obviously. So of course there are always going to be major discrepencies between the incomes.

As the article said, women who don't have kids end up earning as much as men.

For me its a sacrifice I accept for being a mother, I have done everything I can to educate myself and get my career moving prior to kidlets. Hopefully I will return to the workforce at the level I left off....but I cannot expect to jump in at the level my former collegues are at now.

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Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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But, I have noticed this being the case with more of my friends with children.. so this post wasn't only about me, just mothers in general.

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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I have asked for a raise, but the only raise we get is every year. So, once I am here after a year, I will be eligible for a raise...BUT, I still don't think I will make the same. The lady just got here raise, and I won't be due for mine for 3 months, but it would almost be like they would have to give me 2 raises to catch up to her, you know?

Let me say that I do enjoy my job, and it is very easy. They are flexible, with everyone. So, I really can't complain. She only makes $1.50 more an hour than I do.

Jenn - posted on 03/13/2011

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Meghan - I'm sure there are a lot of reasons why. It could have to do with the jobs that women CHOOSE to take. It could have to do with Moms wanting to stay home with their kids so they cut down to part-time hours or stop working or take a less demanding job. I don't think that men tend to make more money simply because of discrimination.

[deleted account]

I'm not surprised that those illegal interview questions are still going on in the U.S. It shouldn't but it does. I suppose I am happy to say that I work in a field that is contract-based with our salary dependent upon educational level & # of years experience. I jsut got my contract the other day-with a pya reduction. But EVERYONE got a pay reducton from the superintendent on down to custodial staff. I don't make any more or less than a teacher who has my identical credentials of Master's +15 credits +step 12 of pay scale.

Meghan - posted on 03/12/2011

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We just talked about this last week in my Gender studies class. I can't find my notes right now (ooops) so I am posting off memory from the stats we were given.
In Canada, on average, men get paid 20% more than women. Apparently the percentage of working women is more than 50%...I think closer to 60 I think only 1/3 of management jobs belong to women and more women work part time. The prof didn't really give us a reason (don't know if she actually knows why) but left it up for us to debate...I zoned out *shrug*
I don't think it has much to do with education, because I *think* there are more women attending post secondary schools. Personally I think it just boils down to good 'ol gender role stereotypes.

Alyssa - posted on 03/11/2011

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I agree Sal, Though I never agreed with work choices and I am glad it's gone....for now, who knows whats going to happen next :/

Sal - posted on 03/11/2011

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hmmm all us aussies here don;t understand this because our ir laws prevent any sort of discrimination (or are ment to on the whole) a few years ago before a change of govt we had "work choices" which was about indviduals negotiating their own salery packages, people who were in a good position to make a great wage felt ripped off when it changed but it was changed for the general population of people who may end up like brandi doing the exact same job as another employer but not being able to push up the pay/salery package as they couldn't be as "committed" to the position as the next person, or might of been desperate foe any job that they went lower to get the job, a lot of people bitched when the laws were changed back to protected minimum wages and conditions but this thread is an example of how we are lucky to have them
'

Alyssa - posted on 03/11/2011

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Brandi, I just can't see how you are earning less "because you have children". I would be asking for a raise if someone else is doing the EXACT same job and hours and getting paid more.

Don't ask and you won't get it....the worst they can say is "no"

Brandi - posted on 03/11/2011

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Jenn, wasn't meaning it rude, sorry.

Pansy, I have been asked that at the last 2 jobs that I had. And was always asked if I thought it would be an issue..

Pansy - posted on 03/11/2011

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I am so lucky to work at a place that has a ton of women working there, so many of them moms, and lots of women in high management. I got pregnant 8 months after I started working there, and then went out on bedrest. They were amazing to me.

It is illegal in the US to ask people if they are married/have children/etc during an interview. When I became a manager and started having to interview for jobs, I learned all of this stuff. It doesn't stop idiots from asking, but it is absolutely illegal.

Jenn - posted on 03/11/2011

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Not sure why you're using the word "assume" like that. I never said you "assumed" anything.

Brandi - posted on 03/11/2011

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The lady and I have talked about education. I wouldn't just "assume" any of this. I haven't told her how much I make, but she "assumes" I make what she does (she has talked about her paycheck) and I don't.

Jenn - posted on 03/11/2011

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But how do you know she didn't have more experience or a higher education level? Those can be determining factors in what someone is payed. I've seen jobs posted before that have a possible wage of say $35,000-$40,000, depending on experience etc. It's hard to say why she makes more. Have you ever asked your employer directly? Maybe when they were hired they said they'd take the job at X amount of dollars, and you agreed to take less? I'm not sure really.

Brandi - posted on 03/11/2011

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Yes. I have excellent work experience. I worked at the same place for 7 years. I have college education. I was hired in making less than someone who was hired in 3 months before me. We do the same job. She is older than I am, and she doesn't have children. My children are in school, and they are in after school. I can work weekends, I have an excellent babysitter. SO, I think I should be making as much as she is.

Jenn - posted on 03/11/2011

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Did you get hired at a lower wage? Did they get hired at the same wage yet have been there for a while and have received a raise? Do you have the same work ethic? Working the same amount of hours doesn't necessarily mean anything if one person works like a horse and the other one is surfing the net all day at work. Are you punctual? Do you take more days off? Do you have more interruptions during the day because of the kids? These are all possible things that could come into play.

Brandi - posted on 03/11/2011

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Well, here that is not the case. I make less money than others who don't have children. I work just as many hours for less pay. I don't think that is fair at all. And, in my interview the only "concern" they had with hiring me was the fact that I had children.

Jenn - posted on 03/11/2011

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Of course it's what they deserve - equal pay for equal work. I don't think anyone has said otherwise Brandi. But it's not your employers responsibility to take into account how many mouths you have to feed or if you're single or married. As long as you are doing the same job and working just as hard and as many hours as Joe Blow, of course you should be paid the same, and from what I see IRL that is the case. Let's say you get a job here at US Steel Lake Erie works, and you are a man with no wife or kids. They will start you out at about $24 an hour. Let's say you are a wife and mother of 10 and get hired for the same job, they will start you out at about $24 an hour - the exact same. It makes no difference who you are or what kind of family you have. The only difference in wage would be as you move up the ladder based on your own personal performance. In reality it's quite possible that the mother could end up making more. Perhaps the young man is a big party animal and takes a lot of time off work due to hang-overs, or just doesn't work as hard and stay focused. There are so many factors that can come into play.

Brandi - posted on 03/11/2011

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What about single mothers? Don't they deserve to make more money? Not technically more, but I mean the same as a woman without children. She has more mouths to feed and more to pay for. And, some are like I am, no child support to help cover things for the kids. I am no longer single, but I still don't have that child support income coming in.

I think, no matter what, you should be paid the same for your knowledge and ability, no whether you have kids or not. I also don't think that women with children should get more flexibility just because we have children either. It should be fair all around IMO. It just sucks that it is harder for a parent who actually needs to money, to get a job than a single person with no children.

Alyssa - posted on 03/11/2011

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Jenn, it is illegal (in aust anyway) to pay men and women different for doing the same job. The wage differences come more from women having time off to have children hence they don't advance as far through the corporate ladder.
Oh, and also because the corporate world is run by men and we couldn't have a woman running a business...generally speaking.

A man is more likey to get a higher status and higher paid position than a woman who has the same credentials IMO.

Jenn - posted on 03/11/2011

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Is it really legal to ask those questions in the US? That's insane! There are so many factors that can come into play when it comes to employment and wages and I think that is why people get paid differently. Most people don't have all of the exact same schooling and experience and work in the exact same manner and get hired on at the exact same time, so it's never a true comparison. Most blue collar jobs though don't give raises based on performance as much as the length of time that you've been there, so it wouldn't matter if you are a man or a woman, a parent or not or if you have blue hair or green eyes - you would be paid the set wage for that specific job.

Sarah - posted on 03/11/2011

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One job I had asked me what I would do if my daughter was poorly. I did think at the time that they would never have asked my husband the same thing!!

I'd agree with Sal though, the job I have now gives me WAY more flexibility than it does for those without kids in a way. I'm never really asked to do overtime (whereas others are), I'm often given time off if the kids are sick as holiday (whereas others aren't if they themselves are sick), my manager often swaps things around over holidays and stuff because of childcare or just because she understands that over Xmas, it's nice for me to be at home.

In my job though, I get the same pay as others that are in the same job.

Sal - posted on 03/10/2011

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i think it should be equal pay for equal work, i have found that often men/single women are seen to be able to comit more to a job (rightly or other wise) and many jobs this ability to take overtime, take work home make phone calls after hours etc is why there is a pay discrepency, and to a degree i can see that but where 2 people are doing the same job, same hours same expenctancy it should be the same pay, sadly just having greater education and ability isn't the only factor that an employer is looking at but also ability to comit to the position and i see many many mums try to juggle this and fail, either the jobs or the family miss out. i see at my husbands work it is very very equal pay and i do see the guys covering for mums a lot (i can never complain as when i have needed him to leave early etc for emergencies they are great) but the mums do seem to get a little more latitude, i do feel this a bit as everyone knows i'm an at home mum and he does get his shifts swaped, changed last minuite as others have to work around sitters etc....

Brandi - posted on 03/10/2011

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I actually haven't had a problem getting a job because of having children, but I do see that being a young mother, I do not make as much as a lady my age with no children. I think that is irrelevant to my work ethic, and the fact that I can run circles around the ladies without children with my education and my abilities.

Johnny - posted on 03/10/2011

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One of my co-workers, single and childless, has had to take more time off to deal with her dog's health problems than the other 3 women in our group have taken off to care for their kids combined. I think that kind of hiring practice is short-sighted and old-fashioned.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/10/2011

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I wouldn't even answer if I was asked that question. I guess I probably wouldn't get the job. Ha.

That sort of questioning can backfire though. My dad's boss is really old school and decided he didn't want anymore working mothers in the office (really). So they hired a single woman. Turned out she had a horse. And it turned out the fricking horse was waaaaay more of a problem than kids ever are. She spent most of her day perusing horsey websites and yammering to her riding instructor on the phone. rofl. So now the boss says no more horse people, kids are fine.

Brandi - posted on 03/10/2011

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I was also asked the questions about being married or do I have kids. IMO if you have a great babysitter who is very flexible, this shouldn't be a problem. I work just as hard if not harder than a woman without kids. And, I am pretty flexible (unless my kids are sick, then I use MY sick days.)

Krista - posted on 03/10/2011

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I'm shocked in that story that the woman was asked during interviews if she was married and/or had kids. Here, it's illegal to ask those kinds of questions during an interview.

As far as the wage gap goes, it's not fair, but I can see why it happens. When I didn't have a child to pick up from daycare, it was no big deal if I stayed an hour later at the office. I didn't have to leave mid-day due to my baby having a fever or a dentist's appointment. I wasn't necessarily working any HARDER than the working moms, but I did have the flexibility to do those above-mentioned things, which would be something that would get the boss's notice.

Fortunately, I work for a very family-friendly organization, which gives us 5 paid sick days a year and 5 paid "personal" days a year (which I can use if my son is sick, for example). Many companies don't have this, so women (especially single moms) are penalized for missing work due to familial obligations.

I think, like the article says, the key is to institute more family-friendly policies. My child-free coworkers also enjoy their personal days, even though they don't have kids -- they can use them if they have a bunch of appointments. So the child-free don't wind up resenting those with kids, and those with kids don't wind up penalized.

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