Harvard Study: Women MBAs Hit Hardest by ‘Mommy Penalty’

Two Harvard University economics professors, Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz, released the findings of their study titled “The Career Cost of Family” during a workplace flexibility conference at the Georgetown University Law Center last week the New York Times reported.

The study notes that among highly educated women who take time off from work (18 months in this case) to raise children, those with MBAs end up earning 41 percent less than their male counterparts when they return to the workplace.

However, women in medicine tend to suffer the least. Goldin and Katz write that women M.D.’s tend to be attracted specialties that allow for flexible hours like dermatology, psychiatry and medical genetics, among others. The study notes that women doctors who take 18 months off to raise children earn about 16 percent less than male doctors.

Where do the other higher education degree holders fall in the study? Goldin and Katz say women Ph.D.s earn 33 percent less than male Ph.D.s and women lawyers earn 29 percent less than male lawyers.

With the Fair Pay Act quashed in the Senate in November, what solutions can be put into place to combat this bias against working mothers? How can we close the pay gap?


About equalityinsight

Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. Join Vision 2020 today! http://www2.drexelmed.edu/vision2020giftsonline/Individual.aspx
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