Do kids hurt mothers' productivity?

(WUSA9/CNN) -- There's an interesting new twist to the debate about equality at the office. A lot of coverage has been given to the so called "wage gap," with men making an average of 77 cents to every dollar more than women with the same job, but have you heard about the "mommy gap?"

Women with children make roughly 7 to 14% less than women without them, according to a a University of New Mexico study. There are a couple of reasons cited for this:

  • The "mommy track": women who drop out of the workforce for a few years.
  • Women who take less demanding jobs so they can leave at 5 p.m. everyday.
  • Bosses who give less demanding assignments to moms, expecting them to commit less time at work than their peers.

Here's another interesting twist: The researchers found that -- in the case of economists -- parents with two or more children are more productive on the job than colleagues with only one child or no children. That rule of thumb worked for both men and women.

The bottom line: some of those folks doing more at the office are actually getting smaller pay checks.


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