Chủ Nhật, Tháng Tư 21, 2024
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HomeSorted by levelC1 - AdvancedMothers are more likely to work worse jobs—while fathers thrive in careers

Mothers are more likely to work worse jobs—while fathers thrive in careers

[Reading level: C1 – Advanced]

Rose Cook, senior research fellow at King’s College London, analyzed data from 15,877 employees to better understand the “motherhood penalty.”

 

Having a child is bad for a woman’s earnings. This is not only in the immediate period after the birth, but across her lifetime—as shown in research by recent economics Nobel prize-winner Claudia Goldin.

 

On the other hand, men who become fathers are perceived as self-reliant and decisive. And they are often rewarded at work with opportunities and pay.

 

Campaigns by groups like Pregnant Then Screwed make explicit that, in the U.K., this “motherhood penalty” extends to pregnancy discrimination, the extortionate costs of childcare, and ineffective flexible working policies. Yet we still know little about how it extends to job quality.

 

Together with colleagues, I have carried out research to explore this “motherhood penalty” further. Using data from 15,877 employees from the U.K. Household Longitudinal Survey, we investigated the kinds of jobs women with children do, and how this compares with fathers and women without children.

 

POOR-QUALITY JOBS

We looked in particular at job quality, covering factors like training opportunities, promotion prospects, control over day-to-day tasks, benefits, working hours, and work-life balance. Poor-quality jobs, such as those characterized by high demands, low control, and limited flexibility, are known to be damaging for well-being. They are particularly concerning when it comes to working parents, due to the likely spillover effects on children.

 

We found a clearcut motherhood penalty. Mothers are underrepresented in high-quality jobs—those with attributes including good work-life balance, control over working hours, and control over job tasks.

 

 

Mothers of school-age children, in particular, are more likely to work in poor-quality jobs. They are less likely to have high-quality jobs, compared both to their male counterparts and to women without children.

 

What’s more, our models controlled for the sector and occupation people worked in. This suggests that women with children suffer a penalty even when compared to other people in similar jobs.

 

Our findings also show that the trade-offs made by mothers and fathers in their employment situations—on things like pay, career opportunities, and flexibility—are rather different.

 

We found that mothers were also much more likely to have jobs that scored poorly on access to training and prospects, yet had high levels of control over the nature and timing of their work. These jobs were often part-time. This is especially the case among mothers of children attending primary school. Almost a third hold jobs like this.

 

TRADING PROMOTION FOR FLEXIBILITY?

It might be possible to look at these results and think that mothers have “chosen” to sacrifice rewards and prospects in favor of working around their children’s needs—while dads choose to prioritize breadwinning even if it means less time with their kids. Indeed, the jobs most associated with fatherhood are characterized by long working hours combined with good opportunities for progression.

 

But these trade-offs are not inevitable. They are also not desired by all parents.

 

As we found in earlier research, mothers can feel their contracted part-time hours block them from desired career progression. Part-time hours may not even help them find balance if they face a workload better suited to full-time hours, potentially leading to overwork for little gain.

 

What’s more, our research shows that mothers may not be trading career progression for flexibility. The poor-quality jobs primarily filled by mothers offer very little in the way of either flexibility or career progression. This means many mothers actually have worse access to flexibility than women without children.

 

The motherhood penalty in job quality, in all its guises, combined with pressures such as the high cost of childcare and partners’ long hours, may well contribute to stress and burnout among working mothers. Employers have an important role to play in tackling this by promoting gender equality in the holistic experience of work, in addition to addressing pay equality.

 

 

But while supporting the well-being of working parents is important, more concrete actions like openly making key promotions available to part-timers and genuine commitments to effective flexible working are also needed.

 

Strategies like these would not only signify employers’ commitment to freeing parents from outdated roles, but also help them retain a vast talent pool. Both employers and governments need to wake up to the stark disadvantages faced by working mothers in accessing meaningful and fair employment, and start taking the motherhood penalty seriously.

 

Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/91009647/mothers-are-more-likely-to-work-worse-jobs-while-fathers-thrive-in-careers

WORD BANK:

earnings /ˈɝː.nɪŋz/ [B2] (n): thu nhập

perceive /pəˈsiːv/ [C1] (v): coi là

self-reliant /ˌself.rɪˈlaɪ.ənt/ [C2] (adj): tự lập

decisive /dɪˈsaɪ.sɪv/ [B2] (adj): quyết đoán

reward /rɪˈwɔːrd/ [B1] (v, n): thưởng, phần thưởng

explicit /ɪkˈsplɪs.ɪt/ [C2] (adj): rõ ràng

discrimination /dɪˌskrɪm.əˈneɪ.ʃən/ [C1] (n): sự phân biệt đối xử

extortionate /ɪkˈstɔːr.ʃən.ət/ (adj): quá cao

flexible /ˈflek.sə.bəl/ [B2] (adj): linh hoạt

pregnant /ˈpreɡ.nənt/ [B1] (adj): mang thai

screwed /skruːd/ (adj – informal): gặp rắc rối

longitudinal /ˌlɑːn.dʒəˈtuː.dɪ.nəl/ (adj): theo chiều dọc

promotion /prəˈmoʊ.ʃən/ [B2] (n): thăng tiến

prospect /ˈprɑː.spekt/ [B2] (n): triển vọng

well-being /ˌwelˈbiː.ɪŋ/ [C1] (n): hạnh phúc và sức khỏe

spillover effect /ˈspɪlˌoʊ.vɚ/ (n): tác động lan tỏa

clearcut /ˌklɪrˈkʌt/ (adj): rõ ràng

underrepresented /ˌʌn.də.rep.rɪˈzen.tɪd/ (adj): ít được đại diện bởi một nhóm người nào đó

attribute /ˈæt.rɪ.bjuːt/ [C2] (n): đặc điểm

counterpart /ˈkaʊn.t̬ɚ.pɑːrt/ [C1] (n): người ở cùng vị trí, hoàn cảnh

trade-off /ˈtreɪd.ɑːf/ (n): sự đánh đổi

in favor of sth /ˈfeɪ.vɚ/ (pre): để đổi lấy cái gì

work around sth (v): tìm giải pháp cho cái gì

breadwinning /bredˌˈwɪn.ɪŋ// (n): kiếm tiền nuôi gia đình

be characterized by sth /ˈker.ək.tɚ.aɪzd/ (v): có đặc điểm là cái gì

progression /prəˈɡreʃ.ən/ [C1] (n): sự phát triển

inevitable /ˌɪnˈev.ə.t̬ə.bəl/ [C1] (adj): không thể tránh khỏi

guise /ɡaɪz/ (n): hình thức

burnout /ˈbɝːn.aʊt/ (n): kiệt sức

tackle sth /ˈtæk.əl/ [B2] (v): giải quyết vấn đề gì

gender equality (n): bình đẳng giới

holistic /hoʊlˈɪs.tɪk/ (adj): toàn diện

address sth /ˈæd.res/ [C1] (v): giải quyết vấn đề gì

concrete /ˈkɑːn.kriːt/ [C1] (adj): cụ thể, rõ ràng

part-timer /ˌpɑːrtˈtaɪ.mɚ/ (n): người làm việc bán thời gian

genuine /ˈdʒen.ju.ɪn/ [B2] (adj): thực sự

commitment /kəˈmɪt.mənt/ (n): cam kết

signify sth /ˈsɪɡ.nə.faɪ/ (v): thể hiện điều gì

retain /rɪˈteɪn/ [C2] (v): giữ lại

talent pool /ˈtæl.ənt puːl/ (n): nguồn nhân tài

stark /stɑːrk/ (adj): rõ ràng

take sth seriously (v): xem xét cái gì một cách nghiêm túc


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