PayScale Data Shows Motherhood, Gender Salary Gaps


A new study shows that married moms make more than single moms and women without children.

PayScale, an online information destination for statistics concerning salaries and benefits, reveals that when controlled for education, geography, industry, and experience, the gender pay gap is 2.7%, writes Jared Lindzon of Fortune.

PayScale compiled information from 14 million full-time workers and gathered the data from July 2013 to July 2015.

But between married men with kids and married women with children, the gap widens to 4.2%, which means a controlled median pay pf $67,900 annually for men and $65,000 for women.

Ken Matos, the senior director of research for the Families and Work Institute, says there is a common misconception that having babies lessens a woman’s ability to succeed, but the same is rarely perceived in men.

Of the male participants, 52% reported that they put home life ahead of work once or twice a month. Only 46% of women said the same, with the authors saying that women are reluctant to admit that a home responsibility would ever be more important than work. Choosing home matters over work duties can cause wage penalties more often for women than for men.

Mothers pay what is called “mommy tax,” says Lydia Dishman, reporting for Fast Company, which means their raises and opportunities decrease after having children. But fathers have “daddy bonuses” because they are perceived to be more responsible when they become dads and therefore deserve higher pay and promotions.

The lowest gap was between single women without children and single men with no kids. But it’s single moms who have the lowest salaries overall. A recent Pew Research Center study published in 2013 found that 4 in 10 US households with children included homes with a mom who was the sole or primary wage-earner for her family.

CBS News’ Aimee Picchi shared that research from sociology Professor Michelle Budig at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst found that men’s wages can go up 6% after they have children, while women’s wages can decrease up to 4% after each child she has.

One-third of participants in a Pew Research Center poll said they thought that children are better off when their mothers did not work at all outside of the home.

“Employers have to support the fact that employees have people in their lives they have to take care of,” said Payscale senior editorial director Lydia Frank. “Traditionally those duties have fallen to women, so this has become a women’s issue because of where those responsibilities for care have fallen. But as things have shifted and we’re balancing those responsibilities, it’ll be less of a woman’s issue and more of a worker’s issue.”

Women who have Ph.D.s earn 5.1% less in cash compensation than men with the same degree, making this the largest wage disparity of any educational rank, writes Sarah Grant for Bloomberg. MBA graduates have the second highest gender pay gap at 4.7%, and M.D.s come in third at 4.6%.

For Ivy League schools, the pay gap is 4%. It is more for public colleges, private nonprofit colleges, and for-profit schools.