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Why moms make less money than dads
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On average, women earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn. While this is common knowledge, it is not widely known that the pay inequality between moms and dads is even greater. - photo by Shelby Slade
On average, women earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn. While this is common knowledge, it is not widely known that the pay inequality between moms and dads is even greater.

Mothers earn 70 cents for every dollar fathers earn, according to the National Womens Law Center. And that gap is higher for single moms and moms of color.

The states with the highest wage gap between moms and dads include Louisiana with a 41.8-cent gap and New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah with roughly a 36-cent gap. On the other hand, Washington, D.C., has the lowest pay gap only 10 cents.

In an interview with Slate, Kate Gallagher Robbins, NWCL director of research and policy analysis, explained that states with lower minimum wages tend to have large pay gaps between moms and dads, Jessica Grose reported.

Places with a standard pay scale and transparency reported a smaller wage gap, which is why Washington, D.C., boasts such a low pay gap. The availability of government jobs keeps mothers and fathers relatively equal.

While some would argue that paid leave would help diminish this wage inequality, there is little proof to support this, Grose wrote. For example, California has a moderate wage gap and New Jersey has one of the highest gaps, but both have state-mandated paid leave.

Often motherhood is seen as a handicap for a woman seeking a job because it makes them unreliable. However, fatherhood makes men seem more committed to work, Claire Cain Miller reported for the New York Times.

Employers read fathers as more stable and committed to their work; they have a family to provide for, so theyre less likely to be flaky, University of Massachusetts, Amherst sociology professor Michelle Budig said. That is the opposite of how parenthood by women is interpreted by employers. The conventional story is they work less and theyre more distractible when on the job.

While men with children are seen as the most dependable and sought after employees, women with children fall on the other end of the spectrum. Women and men without children fall in between, Miller said.

The data could be boiled down to hardheaded career advice: Men should festoon their desks with baby photos and add PTA membership to their rsums, and women should do the opposite, Miller said. But ultimately, the solution is a realization that in the 21st century, male and female employees are not so different from one another.

See the map from the NWLC below to find out how each state compares: