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University of Chicago: Childless working women outearn mothers

Saturday, September 4, 2010  
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Male and female college graduates start their careers with similar salaries, but only women who do not go on to have children continue to earn comparable salaries, according to a study by the University of Chicago.

As reported by, 15 years after graduation, salary differences fluctuate to more than 75 percent in favor of men, with one exception: childless working women. Men and women initially hold similar incomes and weekly hours, but women were more likely to take time off or go to part-time work hours, reported. Women who did not have children were less likely to take time off or convert to part-time work hours, remaining competitive in the workplace, the study found.

"Women without children make 90 cents to a man’s dollar, while women with children make only 73 cents to a man’s dollar,” Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of told Good Morning America. Women are now a majority of the American workforce, she added.

What’s more, working mothers are much less likely to be hired than mothers without children, according to a similar 2005 study by Cornell University. In that study, two fake resumes for equally qualified candidates were submitted for jobs. One of the candidates was said to have children, while the other was obviously childless. Results showed the working mother was 100-percent less likely to be hired, reported. At the same time, the annual salary offered by the employers favored childless working women by $11,000.

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