Why Do Working Moms Continue to Earn Significantly Less than Working Dads?

May 5, 20168:23 am
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While the majority of working moms feel they can have it all – being successful as a parent and in their career – that sentiment may not extend to their income level, according to CareerBuilder’s annual Mother’s Day survey.

At least two in five working moms and working dads are the sole breadwinners for their households, yet working dads are almost three times as likely to earn $50,000 or more and three times as likely to earn six figures. Where working moms may be winning is in the amount of quality time they spend with their kids.

The survey was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between February 10 and March 17, 2016, and included more than 2,000 employers and 1,002 working parents (593 working mothers and 409 working fathers) with children 18 years old and younger who are living at home with them.

Equal in Responsibility, But Not Salary

Although facing equal pressure to take care of their families, working moms who are the sole financial providers are still significantly lagging behind working dads in terms of salary.

Earn less than $50,000 annually

  • Working moms who are sole financial providers: 69 percent
  • Working dads who are sole financial providers: 40 percent

Earn $50,000 or more annually

  • Working moms who are sole financial providers: 20 percent
  • Working dads who are sole financial providers: 58 percent

Working Moms Have More Quality Time, But Is It Enough?

Where working moms seem to be outperforming working dads is in the amount of quality time at home. During the typical workweek, more than half of working moms (58 percent) spend four or more hours with their children every day, compared to 41 percent of working dads.

Only 4 percent of working moms say they spend an hour or less with their children each day, compared to 10 percent of working dads who do the same.

Both working moms and dad continue to struggle with juggling personal and professional commitments. Twenty-three percent of working moms and 26 percent of working dads said they have missed three or more significant events in their children’s lives in the last year.

“Working parents not only have performance reviews at the office, but also experience them on a daily basis at home,” said Rosemary Haefner, CHRO of CareerBuilder and working mom. “The pressure to succeed in both arenas can be tough, especially if you’re not earning enough money to take care of financial demands at home. More working moms today feel that they are able to balance the needs of their professional and personal worlds, but household income still remains a major concern.”

See: Govt urged to support working mums with more leave, flexi-work options

It’s Part of the Job 

Parents new to the workforce or looking to jump back inn, may find raising children has equipped them with a marketable set of skills.

Sixty-eight percent of employers believe being a parent can qualify as relevant experience in the corporate world. The experience parents gain, which employers find most valuable are:

  • Patience – 68 percent
  • Ability to multi-task – 61 percent
  • Time management – 57 percent
  • Conflict management – 51 percent
  • Problem-solving – 50 percent
  • Empathy – 43 percent
  • Mentoring – 42 percent
  • Negotiation – 36 percent
  • Budgeting and managing finances – 36 percent
  • Project management – 25 percent

Can You Have it All? 

Most working moms (82 percent) feel they can have it all, but only half (50 percent) said they are equally successful in their jobs and as parents. More than one third of working moms (36 percent) report they’re more successful as a parent, compared to 33 percent of working dads.

A relatively equal number of working moms and dads say they are more successful in their jobs than as parents – 15 percent compared to 14 percent of working moms. Still, the juggle seems worth it to parents.

Two in five working parents (40 percent) say they would be unlikely to leave their job if their spouse or significant other made enough money for their family to live comfortably (47 percent of working dads vs. 35 percent of working moms).

Further, 60 percent of working parents said they would not be willing to take a decrease in pay to spend more time with their kids (66 percent of working dads vs. 55 percent of working moms), even though nearly one third of working parents (31 percent) said their child has asked them to work less.

Also read: Working Parents Feel Burnout at Work: Seek Better Work-Life Balance

Image credit: wallethub.com