Who says I don’t pay enough attention to men in this blog? Today, I’m offering a hot career tip just for the guys. And it’s really simple: If you want to beat the competition and make lots of moolah—start producing babies. Right now.
That’s because working fathers (why does that sound funny but not “working mothers”?) get a Daddy Bonus. According to a new study by Justine Calcagno of City University of New York, men with children outearned men and women without kids, as well as working moms, across race and ethnicity lines in New York City. (The study looked at data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau between 1990 and 2010.)
Here’s a summary of the findings, based on 2010 data:
Women with children earned 41 percent less than men with children.
White parents showed the greatest gender pay gap: White women with children earned 49 percent less than white men with children.
Asians had the smallest gender pay gap: Asian women with kids earned 23 percent less than Asian men with kids.
Latina women with kids earned 43 percent less than men with kids in their ethnic group.
Men with children consistently earned higher incomes than any other group within all levels of education and in all five categories of employment (management/professionals; service; sales; construction/natural resources; production/transportation).
It’s worth noting that neither being highly educated nor childless helps women catch up with men’s income. In fact, the study says that women without kids who have at least a college degree still earned 11 percent less than men without kids with the same education.
So why are working daddies on top of the pay heap? Though the study doesn’t go into possible reasons (e.g., moms work reduced time or women face pay discrimination), the study’s
author told the Wall Street Journal
that hidden biases are possibly at play:
Ms. Calcagno also said that within social psychology, there are theories that favorable stereotypes about men with children might come into play, leading to a more positive evaluation of male employees and, as a result, better compensation.
“There are some social psychologists who [describe] certain stereotypes about men with children – that they’re more warm, that they’re more devoted – all these sort of positive factors we attribute to dads,” said Ms. Calcagno. ”That may be one reason why employers are biasing in terms of their pay.”
In other words, when men become parents, they get the dividends of trust and respect at work. We assume they’re more devoted to their jobs because they now have a family to support. It fits comfortably with the traditional narrative that they’re the bread winner, the man of the cave—all that Father Knows Best stuff.
But what pops in your mind when you think of a female colleague at your firm who announces she’s about to have a baby? I bet you’ll wonder if she’ll return to work. Then you will probably think about how distracted she’ll be with a new baby.
And what if she makes it clear that she fully intends to go back to work? It’ll confirm people’s suspicion that she’s cold and ruthlessly ambitious.
To sum up: a man gains credibility at work when he becomes a parent, while the woman risks losing it. So guys, stop dilly dallying about committing to your long-suffering girlfriend. For the sake of your career, marry her and churn out those babies.
Everyone will think you’re a genius!