Women in the workforce have been a recent growing trend. More and more women are choosing to take on a career, along with other responsibilities. Women and men working together in all sorts of jobs are becoming more common, but looking closer there are still discrepancies in the system.
According to UBS Wealth Management, women will earn 38 percent less than men who compete in the same position. A woman starting at the same place as a man who is the same age and same position will ultimately end up falling behind in the workplace, losing about $800,000 when she reaches the age of retirement.
Andrew Burger, a faculty member in the Sociology and Social Work department, said a recent research showed that one possible explanation for the gender wage gap between men and women does not necessarily have to be about gender but about motherhood.
He said employers might not hire moms because they do not feel they will dedicate themselves to the job as much as women who are not mothers.
“Society has these expectations of mothers.You have to be 100 percent mom, but if you are employed you have to be 100 percent employee, and so you may have this role conflict,” Burger said.
This emphasizes the idea that society has about women in the workplace and their role as mothers. It is a conflict and possible factor for the gender wage gap.
“To me, it’s sad, because if anybody doesn’t deserve to be discriminated, it’s moms, especially, for example, single moms,” Burger said. He said single mothers often have the most difficulty in choosing to work full time and be a mom at the same time. “They are the ones that are struggling the most trying to make ends meet.”
This expands down to the cultural stigma on Latter-day Saint women who are often expected to stay at home.
Stephanie Lee, a senior studying exercise physiology said,”Culturally it’s still a woman in the home and I think that’s why men are still considered the breadwinners, but with the rise of more single-parent families with just a single mom in a household, these issues are kinda coming up more.”
Ashley Schellhous, a senior studying English, said she noticed within discussions between her Relief Society and her roommates that “they don’t seem concerned about the issue” because they think they will not have to work or they will stop working once they have children.
Schellhous said those women do not realize that for a lot of Latter-day Saint families there might be single mothers or mothers going through great difficulty who will end up being the primary earners, so it should be more of a concern.