According to a new report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the gender gap in wages increases drastically after a woman has a child.
The report looked at the economic standing of women in 34 of the developed member country and found that on average all women earn 16% less than men. Without children, the gap between men and women was only 7%. However, after a couple has even one child, the wage gap increases to a staggering 22%.
The OECD reported that the gender gap begins before children leave school – early educational disparities between girls who tend to be stronger in reading skills than boys but weaker in math tend to funnel women away from scientific fields that feature higher wages. After women have entered the workforce, limited child care options and motherhood demands can prevent women from moving further in their careers.
In addition, the OECD found that reducing the gender gap would lead to stronger economies and an increase in GDP. In his remarks on the report in the LA Times, Secretary General of the OECD said “Closing the gender gap must be a central part of any strategy to create more sustainable economies and inclusive societies.”