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

LETTER: Thanks to all who ran in election

To those that were elected, I look forward to your collective stewardship

Kettle Valley Steam Railway holds train ride of terror

Summerland tourist train will have Halloween-themed events

Ballet Kelowna to kick off 16th season with pair of premiers

Fresh off performances in Beijing and Toronto, company will perform at KCT Nov. 16 and 17

LETTER: Support candidates who will assist cannabis industry

Cannabis has often provided extra income for fruit growers or paid the bills for students

COLUMN: Life is So Good: A biography to remember

George Dawson was African American at a time of great racial discrimination

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

World Junior Hockey fever hits Vernon

Vipers spice up floor ball demonstration at OK Landing School

Shuswap refugee family settles into new, more hopeful life

Father of 10th Syrian family to come to Salmon Arm says learning English, work, top priorities

RCMP seek missing Vernon man

Michael Ramsey, 49, was last seen Oct. 21

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Most Read