Motherhood Penalty for Women and Daddy Bonus for Men

Today Fawcett release the latest findings from our nationwide poll of 8,000 people, entitled ‘Parents, work and care: Striking the Balance’. The poll  found that when a woman has a baby, 46% of people believe she becomes less committed to her job, compared to just 11% believing a man becomes less committed.  In stark contrast 29% of people believe dads become more committed compared to just 8% for a woman.

The survey, carried out by Survation, also finds that many dads want to care but are struggling, with 75% of men taking 2 weeks or less at the birth of their child and a third (33%) of dads take only 1-5 days. 4 in 10 fathers (41%) say they did not get enough leave.

But the poll also shows that the desire for flexible working is now universal. Over two thirds (68%) of people say that when they think about their career choices they think about whether a job is likely to allow them to balance work and family. This rises to 72% for dads and 79% for mums.

CEO Sam Smethers said:

‘The motherhood penalty and daddy bonus are still a strong feature of our workplaces. It’s clear that when a woman has a baby she is overwhelmingly perceived as becoming less committed to her job, while a dad is much more likely to be seen as more committed.  This drives inequality and forces women and men into traditional male breadwinner, female carer roles.’

Key findings:

  • For 9 out of 10 tasks we asked about men said they are mostly the responsibility of their child’s other parent.
  • Men are most likely to say that they are mostly responsible for making sure children do their homework. 28% of men say this mostly their responsibility and 21% said it is mostly the responsibility of their child’s other parent. Women disagree. 60% said making sure children do their homework is mostly their responsibility.
  • Men are least likely to say that organising playdates and children’s parties is their responsibility with only 18% saying this while 7% of women said it iss the responsibility of their child’s other partner
  • Women are most likely to say that washing the children’s clothes is mostly their responsibility. 79% of women say this, more than ten times as many as those who say it is mostly their child’s other parent (7%). Only 13% of women say it is shared equally.
  • Across all tasks on average 37% of men said that they were equally shared while just 20% of women said the same.

Read the full press release here.

Read the full report here.

Read Sam’s blog post for the Huffington Post on what this means in practice for parity in the workplace and in the home.

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