June 4 = Equal Pay Day for Mothers

June 4, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 3.59.03 PMToday is Equal Pay Day for mothers who work outside of the home—while women typically earn 78 cents to every dollar earned by men for full-time, year-round work, these women earn just 70 cents to every dollar earned by fathers who work outside of the home. This means that for mothers who work outside of the home, today marks the day that their salaries finally catch up to equal pay for the previous year.

The National Women’s Law Center, a national organization that champions laws and policies that work for women and families, released data last month about the maternal wage gap, which is greater than the average wage gap for women.

Women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, but the wage gap between mothers and fathers is even larger — mothers who work outside the home full time, year round typically make only 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers. Research shows that mothers of color, single mothers, and mothers who work in low-wage jobs have particularly large wage gaps.

Stereotypes about mothers and fathers contribute to this disparity: one study found that mothers are recommended for significantly lower starting salaries, perceived as less competent, and less likely to be recommended for hire than non-mothers whereas fathers are actually recommended for significantly higher pay and were perceived as more committed to their jobs than non-fathers.

Mothers typically make less than fathers in every state, but the size of the gap varies. Read their fact sheet on the state-by-state wage gaps for mothers.