Mothers get the short end of the stick when it comes to equal pay in the working world. But, contrary to popular belief, working mothers might actually make the best employees.
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If you were to come across a job posting outlining all the duties a mother is required to perform, it would probably be endless and seem impossible to fill. Those who have experienced (and survived) motherhood know that being a mom is one of the most trying roles of a woman’s life — but it’s also one of the greatest learning experiences ever.
The invaluable skills and lessons learned through mothering aren’t being recognized in the professional world as they should be, with working mothers earning significantly less than childless women in the workforce. In fact, a recent study published in the American Sociological Review found that the wage penalty for motherhood ranges from 5 to 7 percent per child, depending on the mother’s marital status, as well as a “14 percent wage gap between mothers and childless women in the work force,” according to Forbes.
The numbers just don’t add up when you consider how valuable working mothers are to organizations, especially those that have prior work experience before motherhood. Here are three ways mothers make the best employees:
1. Great multitaskers – By default, mothers are doing a lot at once. There isn’t a minute that goes by that a mother isn’t juggling five or more things (and doing it successfully). If you were an employer looking to streamline your operations, wouldn’t you want an employee who could simultaneously schedule a doctor’s appointment for her sick kid, draft an email, prepare documents for an upcoming meeting, and pour herself a hot cup of coffee? If that’s not efficient, then we don’t know what is.
2. Masters of time-management and efficiency – When the kids fall ill or there’s an unexpected occurrence, on whom does the weigh fall? You guessed it — Mom. A mother can do more scheduling and planning on a cellphone than most people can manage in an entire day. If even a minute of free time presents itself during the day, a mother will scurry to fill that open slot with something else on her massive, never-ending checklist. Dad double-booked the family again? Don’t worry, Mom will rework the family’s calendar before the kids have the chance to ask her, “What’s for dinner?” Mothers simply defy physics.
3. Great people management skills – Dealing with a toddler is probably the most trying thing in the world — even worse than dealing with annoying, petty coworkers in the office. However, the stigma still stands that working mothers aren’t as “available” to manage others as a childless employee might be. Former E-Trade CEO, Mitch Caplan, says mothers are “absolutely superior at managing time and prioritizing,” and goes on to say that the act of childrearing is beneficial to “training business leaders to motivate others who don’t walk through the door with the same priorities and goals,” according to a USA Today article.
Mothers are definitely the diamonds in the rough that companies are always searching for, but can’t seem to find. It’s difficult to comprehend why businesses wouldn’t want more mothers as employees, given the competent, all-encompassing qualifications that come with earning a motherhood badge of honor. Besides, to whom do kids go running when things go wrong? Mommy, that’s who — and businesses need mommies, too.
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