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Study: Maternal pay gap shows working mothers make less than childless women

Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-25 21:43:54-04

Working mothers may be making less than women without children, according to a study by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

The study took the latest numbers from 2014 and found women without children were making 15 percent more than women with one child and 20 percent more than women with two or three children. 

"Most of the time a mom is going to work harder...just because they do have that little one to provide for," said soon to be mother Nacomi Scharette. 

Scharette will give birth in two months to a baby boy.

"I'm nervous but excited," Scharette said. "This pregnancy has been really rough, and I need all the pillows and support I can get."

Aside from pregnancy being tough, Scharette has also had a hard time landing a job. She said she started looking for work around November, just after she found out she was pregnant, since then she applied to over 20 positions, but seemed to get the same response from employers. 

"When would you need maternity leave and I would say July and they would say, 'oh that kind of makes it hard on us,'" Sharette recalls.

Sharette was able to recently land a job as a receptionist at a property management, but wonders if she will have to deal with making less than her colleagues at future employers. 

Financial expert Brad Zucker from Safe Money Advisors said the lack of pay is known as "the maternal pay gap."

"There's what we know as a gender pay gap, and now there is a maternal pay gap," Zucker said.

Zucker explained mothers across the valley currently make less, because of a lack of family-friendly practices, such as paid parental leave and subsidized child care.

"Mothers work an average of 98 hours a week, and that's the equivalent of 2 and a half full-time jobs," Zucker said. "More work, less pay."

Zucker advises women to ask for raises right now since new federal tax incentives were given to many businesses at the beginning of the year.