This is How Much Less Mothers, Including Frontline Workers, Are Paid Than Fathers

Mother who is a nurse holds daughter before her shift.
Courtney Hale / Getty Images

A study by the National Women’s Law Center found that mothers are typically paid only 75 cents for every dollar paid to fathers. They also state that even before the pandemic, the pay gap for mothers resulted in monthly losses of $1,275 and annual losses of $15,300 — meaning mothers had to work 16 months in order to make the same money fathers made in 12.

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These figures were even lower for mothers of color. Latina mothers are paid “just 46 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers. Native American and Black mothers are paid only 50 cents and 52 cents, respectively, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers,” the study said.

This comes after several studies have shown that women have in tandem borne the brunt of childcare at home during Covid-19.

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A study by sociologists at the University of Pennsylvania found that the same time the pandemic was shifting people to work from home, children nationwide also began attending school virtually. The result was an increase in domestic work that “fell disproportionately on the shoulders of mothers,” the study said.

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In a conversation with CNBC, NWLC Director of Research Jasmine Tucker said, “We know that about one in four women who are unemployed right now have been looking for work for a year … just imagine what that $15,000 or more could do if you had that sitting in the bank because you were paid what you were owed before this all happened.”

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The picture worsens when taking into account mothers who had the added stressor of working as frontline and essential workers during the pandemic. Frontline workers who are also moms account for over one in five of the front-line workers providing essential services during COVID-19 the National Women’s Law Center study says. They add that even as vital workers, they are still losing income to the wage gap. Mothers account for 34.6% of registered nurses and mothers of color account for 32.4% of them, yet they still make 84 cents of each dollar their father counterparts are paid — even as their workload more than doubled both at work and at home.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 

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