Back in 1975, only about 45 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 worked outside the home. Nowadays that figure is closer to 71 percent. Unfortunately, despite the growing numbers of women in the workforce, working mothers still face serious challenges, including discrimination by employers and co-workers as well as the cost and limited availability of daycare.
In our culture, there's an underlying, if outdated, sense that women who choose to pursue their careers instead of staying home with the kids are selfish, inept mothers. Conversely, gender stereotypes can lead employers to assume that these women are less determined than their colleagues, that they'll need to take time off of work on short notice and be unwilling to travel for business due to their responsibilities as caregivers.
Numerous sociology studies have found that working mothers are held to higher standards of work performance and time management than women without children. One 2007 study, in which actual employers evaluated application materials for a pair of same-gender equally qualified job candidates who differed on parental status, found that mothers were often perceived as less competent and poorly motivated to succeed, and as a result offered lower starting salaries than fathers and non-parents. For men, parental status did not influence the employer's evaluation. Is anyone else not surprised?
Dads, unlike moms, tend to benefit from their parental status. Antiquated social norms dictate men are the breadwinners, and so those with families often get treated more favorably. Fathers typically receive a wide range of benefits that are often withheld from working moms, namely promotions, job offers and training opportunities. They're readily given larger slabs of bacon to bring home, if you will.
This phenomenon has led many jaded women to simply opt out of the workforce entirely, despite their ambitions. However, it's not all bad news for mothers who want to, and should, have it all. Another recent study on how motherhood status predicts workplace incivility found that moms might actually have an unexpected edge when it comes to navigating that elusive work-life balance.
Read the full article here: New Study Reveals Thin Silver Lining For Working Moms