Friday, November 17, 2006

Gasp! Young Mothers Earn Less.

Being a mother of young children significantly lowers her wage or salary
On average, the "family gap" is 11 per cent. When the sample includes only working women, the disadvantage goes down to 10 per cent. Among men, no corresponding disadvantage was found.

The negative impact on a woman's wage or salary grows steeply with more young children in the family. One under school-age child means a wage or salary reduction of about 10 per cent, two under school-age children a reduction of 19 per cent and three under school-age children a reduction of even 30 per cent.

The gap shrinks to 5 per cent when the child or the children go to school. In Finland, children go to school at the age of 7 on average (although sometimes earlier with special permission).

The results of the study underline the need to reform the system of sharing costs for young children. At present the system treats mothers of young children unfairly. There is no acceptable reason why their wages and salaries should be lower than wages and salaries for childless women.

Um, there is a very good reason they're making less money - they're doing less work. That doesn't mean they are being treated 'unfairly'.
I'd wager that any major time commitment that reduces the availability, flexibility, and focus of an employee has a negative impact on wages, taken on the whole. Getting your MBA at night, running a soup kitchen, caring for elderly parents, taking roles in local plays because you really want to be a star - there are many things that might result in results such as these. That doesn't mean there's a problem, or that society or employers have an obligation to start paying people the same as their fully-focused counterparts.
It simply means that different people have different priorities - and that they are making choices in life that reflect a value set not centered around earnings. Some of these choices will benefit society (as I'd imagine this 'journalist' would argue parenting does) some don't, but they still reflect a personal lifestyle choice that doesn't obligate anyone else to provide subsidies.
Technorati Tag:

No comments: