Gender Inequality: Do family demands affect job opportunities?

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Gender Inequality
AMONG PARENTS, women are much more likely than men to experience family-related career interruptions, according to findings by the Pew Research Center. In this chart, the bars represent parents who say they have made these choices in order to care for a child or other family member. (CLICK on this graphic to visit the Pew site and see more of these findings.)

AMONG PARENTS, women are much more likely than men to experience family-related career interruptions, according to findings by the Pew Research Center. In this chart, the bars represent parents who say they have made these choices in order to care for a child or other family member. (CLICK on this graphic to visit the Pew site and see more of these findings.)

Throughout history, work has been seen variously as a curse, an unfortunate necessity, a means to wealth and social mobility, and even salvation. However you see work, family responsibilities make it more complicated. Do you have to balance both work and family responsibilities? Do family responsibilities aggravate gender inequality?

We began this week by talking about an historic milestone: for the first time, women and men have achieved near-parity in wages. But this is true only for Millennial women (ages 18-34). Based on a new report from the Pew Research Center, we noted that most Americans say that the country needs to do more to achieve gender equality. We also noted how men and women of different generations have different aspirations to be a boss or top manager, and that men can also be victims of gender bias.

Today, we discuss the differences between men and women when it comes to work-family balance: Does being a working mother—or working father—make it harder to get ahead in your career? Most working parents (63%) say no, it doesn’t. About 27% say it makes it harder, with 7% saying that it makes it easier to get ahead.

The majority of working mothers (56%) say that it doesn’t make it more difficult to advance at work; 70% of working fathers say the same. Working mothers (40%) are more likely than working fathers (15%) to say that having kids makes it more difficult to advance one’s career.

Challenges are greater when kids are under age 18. The majority of working women (51%) say that it makes it more difficult to move up when kids are high-school ages or younger. But only 16% of working fathers say the same.

How about the other way around? Does being a working mother or father make it harder to be a good parent? About half of working fathers and working mothers say it doesn’t. But working mothers are more likely to say it does, compared to working fathers (45% versus 31%).

What’s your experience when it comes to work-family balance?

Does being a working mother or father make it more difficult to get ahead at work?

Do working mother and fathers make worse—or better—parents?

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