Flexible hours as mothers re-enter workforce could ease wage gap: UBC study

Research says choosing their own hours, working from home could help reduce ‘motherhood pay gap’

Flexible work arrangements – such as being able to work from home and choose your work hours – helps mothers close the wage gap between themselves and women who don’t have children.

That’s according to a new study by UBC sociology professor Sylvia Fuller that contains some of the first findings on how the use of flexible work hours can alter the wage gap between mothers and childless women, depending on their education.

“When companies allow work to be organized in a flexible way, they’re less worried about hiring mothers,” Fuller said Thursday in a news release.

“Not only does flexibility make it easier for mothers to do well in their jobs, but it also alleviates concern from the employer that they’ll be able to.”

The study suggests mothers overall tend to earn less than childless women because they’re not being hired by the highest paying firms.

Fuller’s team used Statistics Canada data from nearly 21,000 women, of which 58 per cent were mothers, between the ages of 24 and 44.

Flexible work hours reduced the “motherhood wage gap” by 68 per cent, while the ability to work from home reduced the wage gap by 58 per cent.

Flexible hours made the biggest difference for women with postgraduate degrees.

Without being able to work one their own schedule, mothers earned seven per cent less than childless women. That’s compared to those who did work flexible hours and earned 12 per cent more than childless women.

Fuller said the findings highlight a need for employers to look at their hiring practices and ensure they are not discriminating against mothers, as well as to consider allowing flexible work arrangements.

“Flexibility might not be possible for all jobs,” she said, “but it is appreciated by workers generally and make good business sense in terms of attracting and retaining highly qualified employees.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

FEATURE FRIDAY: Preserving Kelowna’s history, one tombstone at a time

The Kelowna Museum Society to host a workshop to clean headstones

Record cherry crop anticipated

BC Tree Fruit growers expecting crop of 12 million pounds due to ideal conditions

Declining mule deer tracked in new study

Wildlife research collaborators join forces on research initiative

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

Plea to help find missing dog in Kelowna

Willow has been missing since Sunday near Dee Lake Resort

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Abbotsford high school teacher charged with sexual offences involving two youths

Henry Kang, 50, charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

More boat launches shut down as Shuswap Lake rises

Municipalities warn other boat launches could be closed down with little advance warning

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Canucks sign top prospect Elias Pettersson to entry-level deal

Slick centre drafted No. 5 overall in 2017 NHL draft

Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps to 1,600 hectares overnight

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 1,600 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Former B.C. police chief dies in ATV accident

Ex-Nelson top cop began his career in Vancouver

Referendum in Ireland would repeal strict ban on abortion

Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country’s strict ban on most abortions.

Most Read