A New Study On Gender Pay Gap Reveals Roots Of It Lie In Childhood

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It is well understood that parenthood conduces to harm women’s professions but not men’s. Various studies have revealed that as a group, having kids decreases women’s lifetime incomes, a consequence recognised as the “child penalty.” A wide array of individual choices accounts for this effect. Some women work fewer hours, or not at all when their children are growing. Others shift to positions that are more family-friendly but low paying. There is also a significant variation in the extent of the earnings decline, varying from zero up to 100% (in a situation when women quit working completely).

Credits: The Economist

Also Read: Cinema Goers Too Are Responsible For Bollywood’s Gender Pay Gap

A study to predict “child penalty”

A new scholarly studyreveals an interesting factor that helps to foretell whether the decline in a woman’s wagesdue to having children is likely to be big or small. This is by the decisions made during her childhood by her mother. The study’s contributors, Henrik Kleven from Princeton University, Camille Landais from the London School of Economics and Jakob Sogaard from the Danish Ministry of Taxation, used official data from Denmark, which comprises the country’s entire population for ages. They described “child penalty” as the amount by which women’s wages fell behind those of men after having kids.

From 1980 to 2013, the long-term child penalty was about 20%. This is because the overall pay gap between men and women narrowed during that period. By 2013, the child penalty estimated for almost the entire remaining inequality in the sexes’ incomes. Before becoming mothers, women’s earnings, more or less maintains speed with men’s. Only once they have kids do their financial trajectories start to slacken.

Findings of the study

As the researchers examined potential reasons for this happening, they saw that women who were raised in families in which the mother worked a lot corresponding to the father led to suffer comparatively small child penalties. Conversely, those who grew up with mothers who were homemakers were more likely to scale back their careers. This implies that the models set by their mothers when deciding how to coordinate between family and work profoundly affect women. However, the working patterns of a woman’s parents-in-law made no discord to her child penalty. This inferred that preferences do not affect women’s decisions that their spouses may have developed during their youth.

Before becoming mothers, women’s earnings, more or less maintains speed with men’s. Only once they have kids do their financial trajectories start to slacken.

This is a teaching to those mothers who want their girls to bridge the gender pay gap. Their dreams are more likely to come true if they drive by example, when their girls are young.

Also Read: The Gender Pay Gap In Sport: Why We Must Talk About It

Image: New York Post

Saumya Rastogi is an intern with SheThePeople.TV