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Working Moms Under Pressure

I’ve held off on blogging lately–I’m working, looking for new clients, networking, promoting my book. Getting my feet wet with media interviews.

This headline on jumped out at me: “Moms are bearing the brunt of recession, study shows.” I just did an interview the other day with AdvisorOne and spoke about how working moms are feeling the pressure from their roles of breadwinner and caregiver. It’s this pressure on moms nationwide–and the economic downturn–that motivated me to write my non-fiction book.

I mentioned to AdvisorOne that many women were working with reduced salaries.

On average moms lost $175 per week more than dads, according to the new study that analyzed four sets of data from the Displaced Workers Supplement.

This 2010 survey included nearly 4,400 displaced workers who took an average of 17 weeks to find a new job. When the researchers broke down the data according to marital and parental status, they discovered that moms experienced a “motherhood penalty” while fathers got a “daddy bonus.”

Employers will choose a dad over a mom because they fear that moms won’t be as available or committed to the job, said study co-author Michelle Moroto, an assistant professor in the sociology department at the University of Alberta.

Moreto’s advice? For women who fear they might be in danger of suffering from the motherhood penalty when seeking work, don’t volunteer anything about your family in job applications and interviews.

I could not agree more with Moreto. Going forward, I will not be mentioning to prospects I have two young kids. In today’s economy, it’s a strike against you.

Do you think there is a “motherhood penalty”?





I have always felt that moms get the short end of the stick. I won’t go into my usual rant but I totally agree. From pregnancy through childhood mothers are always given a shorter end of the stick.


Absolutely there is! I’m convinced I lost an account to another because I’m a mom. The prospect seemed obsessed with the fact that I worked at home and had children (reminded her several times my children go to daycare). Needless to say, she did come back to me a week later begging for my help alongside the other publicist she hired. I agreed that time only and have turned down every other project she has presented to me since.

nancy ross vecchione

Mentioning motherhood is the kiss of death in many job interviews. I’ve learned to only discuss the company and what skills I can bring to them. It’s sad that a man isn’t penalized, an interviewer presumes he won’t be taking his kids to ballet class or going to back to school nights. Or staying home if a child is ill. I was lucky w/my kids were young, I had a boss who said children and familiy first, before work. We all worked harder for that man than anyone else. He rewarded our loyalty and he got it back a thousand times over. Not to mention all the women chipped in to cover if one of us was out for the day (or even if one of the (gasp!) MEN was home w/his kids!) So my advice is keep quiet about your kids, sad (and hard to do!) But it is a job interview not a neighborhood coffee clatch.

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