Female Managers Paying the Price

More so than ever, today’s woman gets to chart the course that feels right for her; women have the freedom to make more choices.  Yet despite our progress, some of these choices continue to come at a price. Motherhood and a career – and the resulting wage discrepancy between men and women – is one of the most significant prices paid, literally.

According to a new report released this week by the Government Accountability Office, commissioned by the Joint Economic Council of Congress, managers who were mothers earned 79 cents of every dollar paid to managers who were fathers, after adjusting for education and age.  This compares to 81 cents earned by female full-time managers across industries.  Parenthood appears to take a toll on women’s earning power and may help explain why more female managers are making the choice not to have children: 63 percent of female managers were childless vs 57 percent of men. Female managers were also less likely to be married than male managers.

Why does the discrepancy still exist? Is it discrimination or is it a trade-off between flexible hours and pay?  If it’s the women’s choice – less money for a reason that works for her – I’m all for it, but if it’s not, and our system is still so broken, we need to fix it so women can continue to make the best choices for them overall – not just their paychecks.

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