Friday 9 December 2016

The 'motherhood penalty' reaches far beyond income...

Published 31/08/2014 | 02:30

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Here's a new phrase to conjure with: the 'motherhood penalty'. It is being advanced by the Fawcett Society, which has campaigned for women's rights since 1866.

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The 'motherhood penalty' refers to the fact that a woman's income often declines when she becomes a mother. Men and women may be at level pegging in the job market when they are young and childless. They compete with a reasonable degree of equality for promotion and advancement. But then - ping! When a baby arrives, a woman becomes less competitive, less likely to be promoted, and she is earning less than her male cohorts.

For every child she bears, it is calculated that a woman loses 13pc of her earnings. That's the 'motherhood penalty'. And the Fawcett Society is resolved to eliminate it from all areas of employment, public and private, large and small.

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