Working moms can have it all! As long as they get pregnant before 25 or after 35…
Unfortunately, first-time moms in the U.S. are 26.3 years old, on average. Women who have their first child at that average age, or anytime between the ages of 25 to 35, are at a career disadvantage, according to a new study. By temporarily leaving the workforce during their prime career-building years, they fall behind their spouses, and in most cases never close the resulting wage gap.
In contrast, women who have a first child before age 25 or after age 35 are more likely to earn salaries that are closer to that of their husbands. Younger moms typically have less education, and earn less income. Older moms typically have more education, and work in higher-earning professions. But both benefit from the opportunity to concentrate on work during those years when employees have the most opportunities to climb the career ladder.
The research study, published by the Census Bureau, supports the hypothesis that children are at the crux of the gender pay gap. They require enormous time, and women bear a disproportionate share of that burden. Across all ages, women earn $12,600 less than men before having a child, and $25,100 less afterward, according to the study authors.