This Sunday, many families will celebrate Mother’s Day. Whether that’s with cards, flowers, or something else, many Americans will spend the weekend honoring the mothers in their lives.
What if we honored the sacrifices and unpaid labor of our mothers with equal pay instead?
Today marks Moms’ Equal Pay Day, the day in the year that a mother needs to work to in order to earn what a father did in the previous calendar year.
For every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers, Latina mothers are paid just 46 cents, Native American mothers are paid just 50 cents, Black Mothers are paid 52 cents, white, non-Hispanic mothers are paid 71 cents, and AAPI mothers are paid 90 cents.
Mothers have to work more than four extra months to earn the same salary as their male peers. It’s unconscionable.
According to The National Women’s Law Center, mothers are typically paid 75 cents to the dollar of fathers, a gap that translates to a loss of $1,275 a month or $15,300 annually. Do you think having children makes you worth $15,000 less as an employee? We don’t either.
A gender wage gap exists in 94 percent of occupations. This is a systemic issue that impacts us all.
Our 2021 State of Motherhood survey found that a mere six percent of moms say that becoming a mother has helped them in their career.
Just about half of mothers (48%) that are working have considered leaving the workforce in the last year because of the high cost of childcare. This holds true across mothers of all races and ethnicities, and is especially high (59%) among mothers that work part-time.
64% of working mothers say their child and household duties have harmed their paid work in the last year. Having a child or home should not negatively impact your work—and yet, in the age of COVID-19 when children moved to virtual schooling overnight and mothers overwhelmingly took on the burden of childcare and household duties while navigating their own professional ambitions, it often did.
So what can we do?
For starters, we can become our own advocates. Use your voice—and use it loudly. Contact your representatives and demand that they support legislation to help address the gender wage gap. Ask for transparency in your workplace to make sure that employees are being paid equally for equal work. Join conversations on social media about the wage gap, using hashtags like #MomsEqualPayDay and #MomsAreEssential.
Moms are essential. We are a critical part of our society and economy. And we deserved to be treated—and paid—like it.