The challenge women have long faced in balancing work and family is receiving renewed public attention, with Hillary Clinton highlighting the issue when she talked about her experiences as a young lawyer and mother at a recent appearance in Silicon Valley.
Analysis of government economic data suggests that most young female workers start their careers at near parity with men in wages. However, the analysis found, women struggle to keep pace with men on this measure as they begin to juggle work and family life.
Younger working mothers are among the most likely to say that being a working parent makes it harder for them to get ahead in their career, according to our 2013 survey. Among working Millennial mothers (ages 18 to 32 in 2013), 58% say that being a working mother makes it harder for them to get ahead at work. Among Millennial fathers who are working, only 19% say that being a working father makes it harder for them to advance at work.
Among men and women who say that they reduced their work hours to care for a child or family member, women are twice as likely as men to say this hurt their career overall, by 35% to 17%. Similarly, about one-third of women (32%) who took a significant amount of time off from work for family-related reasons say doing this hurt their career, compared with 18% of men.
Mothers don’t regret taking these steps, however. More than 90% of working moms who have either reduced their hours or taken a significant amount of time off from work say they are glad they did so.