Working mums suffer 3 per cent pay penalty for every child, study finds 5 months ago

Working mums suffer 3 per cent pay penalty for every child, study finds

Mothers are paid an average of three percent less for every child they have compared to their female colleagues who don't have children, according to a French study. 

Not surprisingly, the study also found that fathers suffer no penalty at all.

The research, conducted by the Université Paris-Saclay, looked at 16 years of data from the French private sector and found that after having come back to work from maternity leave, mothers are often assigned projects and tasks that are considered to be “less risky”, so are less likely to receive bonuses and are more likely to become trapped in low-wage trajectories.

This is what Lionel Wilner, author of the study, had to say:

“Gender inequalities persist within households, in terms of the share of domestic work or bargaining power, but they also persist within firms," Wilner said of the findings to the Independent.

“The gender pay gap, occupational gender segregation and the glass ceiling are the most striking examples – but an obvious example of gender inequality is related to childbirth. The motherhood penalty accounts for noticeable hourly wage differences following childbirth.”

Just like pressure groups and campaigners are trying to highlight, Wilner describes the wage gap as both unfair and inefficient and calls for “public intervention” in the form of “campaigns against discrimination” and the provision of on-the-job childcare.

Interestingly, he also explains how he thinks a paternity leave of the same duration as maternity leave would be another step towards closing this gender gap.

According to the Fawcett Society, one of the UK’s largest charities promoting women's right, the current gender gap for full-time workers is 13.9 percent.