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The REAL Working Moms Equal Pay Day

Last year on May 30th, was Working Moms Equal Pay Day.  It is a symbolic day dedicated to raising awareness of the working mom pay gap. In the United States, this date symbolizes how far into the year working moms must work in order to earn what men earned in the previous year.

This date is based on the % of the dollar earned by working moms. Current women in America with no children earn $.80 for every dollar men earned and celebrated equal pay day on April 2nd.

I didn’t think much about the date or data until I noticed this year it wasn’t the same date as before, and the official date looks to now be sometime in June. I should have dug into this data before, but now I was really curious as to how they got that date and what data was driving this outcome.

I’m a math girl and I love data. I love how black and white it is and often use it to leverage and base decisions on. That said, data can be manipulated based on how you show it. I’m going to share a lot of math with you but I want to be transparent.

In America here is what Wikipedia says are the different equal pay days based on the dollar earned:

  • Asian American women make $.85 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is March 5, 2019.
  • African American women earn $.61 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is August 22, 2019.
  • Native American women earn $.58 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is September 23, 2019.
  • Latinas earn $.53 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is November 20, 2019.
  • Mothers earn $.69 compared to fathers, and in 2019, their equal pay day is June 10, 2019.

The issue I have with this mother data is the lack of information on how they got it. Asian American women make more money than White American women. Same is true for mothers. So is June 10th the date Asian American Moms earn their full dollar or is it for White Mothers? I wasn’t happy with this answer so I did the math to find out.

Research around the Mother Penalty shows that hourly wages of mothers are approximately 5% lower (per child) than the wages of non-mothers. The research by Sigle-Rushton and Waldfogel found that 81% of mothers with children under the age of 18 made less than $40,000 per year compared to only 44% of fathers. Wage penalty incurred by women for motherhood varies significantly across nations as do work-family policies. What makes this data hit even harder is that women in lower-wage jobs suffer a greater percentage of loss in hourly wages as a result of motherhood than women in more highly paid professions.

A recent study found that the pay gap for mothers with one child rose from 9% in the period between 1986 and 1995 to 15% between 2006 and 2014. For mothers with two kids, the gap held steady at 13% and stayed at 20% for mothers with three or more children.

What is also interesting is Asian women face the smallest wage gap and they earn 97% of what white men earn, resulting in a pay gap of just 3%. White women earn 79% of what white men do, while black women earn 67% and Hispanic women earn 58%.

Using this math and the data we have, here are the true equal pay day for women in America. I also used data I found here on Business Insider and came up with this list. They didn’t have data for Native American so I deferred to the data above given in Wikipedia. The two had close data but it wasn’t exactly the same so makes you again wonder how accurate any of this data is.

Mother’s with 1 kid earn 15% less and it goes up to 20% with 2 kids. So using the data I have, here are Working Mothers in America, equal pay day by ethnicity and by 1 or 2 kids:

  • March 15, 2019 – Asian American moms with 1 kid earn $.82 for every dollar
  • July 15, 2019 – Asian American moms with 2 kids earn $.79 for every dollar
  • August 2, 2019 – White American moms with 1 kid earn $.67 for every dollar
  • August 29, 2019 – White American moms with 2 kids earn $.63 for every dollar
  • September 30, 2019 – African American moms with 1 kid earn $.57 for every dollar
  • October 10, 2019 – African American moms with2 kids earn $.55 for every dollar
  • November 10, 2019 – Native Americans & Hispanic American moms with 1 kid earn $.49 for every dollar
  • November 29, 2019 – Native Americans & Hispanic American moms with 2 kids earn $.46 for every dollar

I know it is super confusing but when we water down these dates to one, we don’t highlight the real complexity of the issue. We are also not able to reverse how they got that number or date without real raw data.

This is a good lesson to not just believe everything you read and dive into the data yourself to see the truth.  May 30, 2018 we celebrated Working Moms Equal Pay Day and now it looks like the official day might be June 10th.  Not sure how they got that date and for who? And what kind of mom is this the date for? Is it for the highest paid working moms, Asian American’s with 1 kid?

If I had a choice I think we should celebrate it on November 29th when the last working mom with 2 kids gets her full pay, but then again, maybe I am a bit biased since I am a working mom with 2 kids who’s 24% Native American with Mexican Citizenship.

Here I am pregnant with my firstborn. I started a new job at Amazon and moved to a different state, away from family, for my job. They didn’t know I was pregnant and part of me wonders if I would have gotten the job or the pay I did if they had known.

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What day do you think we should call Equal Pay Day for Working Moms in America? Have you seen new or more reliable data on the $ earned for 2019 based on ethnicity and number of kids? If so please share and thanks for reading. * L

 


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Thanks Mom for the Invention

Did you know that a long time ago women could not file for a patent in America? They had to file under their husband’s name or a use a first initial to avoid the gender question, thus many women never got the recognition. Even today there is a huge gender gap in women filing for patents. Women inventors made up only 12% of all inventors on patents granted in 2016. The good news is for the first time in a long time, if not forever we are seeing a change and more women than ever are inventing and getting credit for it.

I dug in a little deeper to find out who of these women inventors are mothers, working moms who made a difference. Working moms whom you’d have to thank if you’ve used Wi-Fi, windshield wipers, or a dishwasher.

Women in the workplace make it better for everyone! Diversity matters and moms in the workplace make a huge difference in our everyday lives and in the workplace.

Did you know a working mom invented the dishwasher? How about a Mother-Daughter invention of personality type indicator called Myers Briggs? Have you heard about the working mom Elizabeth Blackburn who won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine? What about Ingrid Daubechies who is one of the world’s most cited mathematicians? Maybe you heard about the actress working mom Hedy Lamarr who invented what was to later become Bluetooth technology. What about Ruby Violet Payne-Scott who was the first female radio astronomer?

 

 

If you are interested take a look at my Instagram page to learn more about the other 24 working moms and their inventions. I highlighted one each day in April and have loved learning about all 30 women who have each made a big difference in the world.

Diversity matters, and we are all better together for it. 

Happy Mother’s Day to you, your Mom, and to all the working Moms out there who are making a difference. * L

 


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HELP

Even looking at the title “Help” makes me a little uncomfortable. Does it do that for you? Are you good at asking for help? Do you often help others? How does the word help show up for you?

For me, it is both my strength and weakness. I have never been good at asking for help. In fact, I might be the worst at it and am still working on it today. That said, it has made me strong, agile, and able to have grit, grow and be a strong person who is always pushing herself to do more, be better.

I didn’t realize I was bad at asking for help until I was listening to my mom tell me a story about when I was little. I was selling girl scout cookies with my friends and I was complaining about my stomach hurting. It was Saturday and my mom was working so my dad picked me up. We went home and I went to bed complaining about my stomach. My dad didn’t know what to do so he called my mom who owned her own hair salon in town. She asked, “did she eat breakfast, has she eaten?” Well, that was it. I was hungry and the adult in me hearing this story made me realize how bad I was at asking for help as a child.

I was so bad at asking for help that as a child I wouldn’t even ask my parents for food when I was hungry. 

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As a result of not asking for help, I pushed myself. If I struggled I tried harder. I found a way to make it work. I got lucky that some people saw me struggling, saw me looking out the window at school too long, and asked me if I needed help. Even when I said I didn’t, even when the whole town knew my Dad had cancer I said no. When I think back I got a lot of help and people really cared about me. I wonder if they helped since they knew I wouldn’t ask, or they appreciated how hard I was trying. As a result, I have so much respect for people who are trying, people who are hanging on, do it on their own and be accountable!

I also love to help and feel thankful I have found a profession that allows me to help others achieve success. I also feel very lucky that I have a husband who is a helper. He is my best friend and knows me even when I am not paying attention to myself. He even got morning sickness when I first got pregnant (and I didn’t). We are very connected and having someone like him, has been a lifesaver for me. He also loves to help and it’s been a learning process to let go of the control and accept that help.

Many times a story of one’s life doesn’t look the same from the outside. That strong woman who has it all together needs help too and I write this not to highlight this in me but to highlight this need for all the others who are too strong, too scared, too conditioned to ask for help.

We all have our dark moments, our struggle, and when you see this in a friend, a loved one, don’t ask how you can help, ask them “what do you need” so you can do that for them. A true gift is one that is not asked for, one that is given from the heart, one that doesn’t need recognition or even acknowledgment for the true gift is the ability to give.

Life is hard and we all need a little help sometimes. Make sure you don’t miss the quiet ones, the strong ones, the ones who aren’t asking for help… as they are often the ones who need it the most. * L