By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Nov. 15, 2013
Between 2004 and 2006, a professor in the sociology department of Stanford University, Shelley Corrrell, started sending fake resumes to employers who were advertising high-paying jobs.
Not all resumes were equal, however.
Some of the fake resumes had an innocuous volunteer activity: an officer in the elementary school parent-teacher association, for instance, indicating that the applicant was a mom.
Prof. Correll’s research concluded that a hint of motherhood meant employers were as half as likely to call a woman for an interview.
Similarly, describing a mother as a consultant led evaluators to believe she was less competent. And visibly pregnant women managers were also thought to be less committed, less dependable, although more emotional and irrational.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that women make less than men, and that motherhood extracts a financial cost.
Income and household data released by Stats Canada reveals far more men than women in a small pool of high income people in town, and there are far more men crammed in it than women.
According to the National Household Survey, there were 335 men who made over $125,000 in Squamish.
Only 35 women, however, were part of this over-$125,000 Mad Men club.
But scroll to the end of the income rung and you might find a Gloria Steinem stir in you: The gender gap widens inversely as income drops.
In the income bracket of $20,000 to $29,000, for example, there were only 645 men, but 1,050 women.
The data doesn’t surprise Sheila Allen, the president of Howe Sound Women’s Centre.
“There is still the old boys club mentality where women’s work is values only as secondary,” she said.
Allen said in her experience, men are more successful in negotiating a higher starting salary, while women may not be as comfortable with those negotiations.
Squamish’s baby boom also means more women are choosing to do the job of child rearing.
Allen said there are a number of women who accept a lower wage position in Squamish because they don’t want to commute to Vancouver.
“They are still the primary care giver, and that is directly related to their income,” she said.
Kristina Gazo knows a thing or two about that. When Gazo moved to Squamish to raise a family, her maternity leave was just about to expire, and she was scrambling to find a job.
When she couldn’t find the right fit, she decided to be a full-time stay at home mom.
“We budgeted everything and knew it would be tight, but I decided to be a stay-at-home mom,” she said.
Considering that she would have to pay $1,200 for child care, it seemed like a sensible thing to do.
“I’m not going to pay someone $1200 a month to barely see my own child. It’s not worth it,” she said.
A weak local economy with more service sector job isn’t helping her either.
As a commission based hairstylist work, there isn’t enough demand for her in Squamish, she says. And as it is, there aren’t a lot of clients during the day time hours to keep busy.
One of the most comprehensive reports on gender wage gap released last year by OECD makes an interesting observation about Canada.
Women in Canada are better educated than men; by 2025, the report estimates, there will be almost two female students for every male in tertiary education in Canada.
Still, women are twice as likely to work part-time compared to men.
As it is, women make 19 per cent less than men, but the gender pay gap grows to 29 per cent for women between the age of 25 and 44 with at least one child.
New research suggests that motherhood may be a bigger reason for wage disparity than gender discrimination.
Lack of affordable child care sharpens the mommy penalty as more women drop out of the labour market.
Becoming a mother completely altered the career trajectory of local mommy blogger Lani Sheldon.
Before she became a mom, she had an ‘intellectually fulfilling’ career as a manager of a non-profit wildlife hospital in the city.
All along her maternity leave, she had been planning to return to her career, but when she did the math— cost of childcare, commuting cost to Vancouver, limited time with family—she dropped the plan, and instead decided to be a full-time mom.
Two years and a child later, she is a full-time mom, choosing, like many other women, to pay the penalty of motherhood for raising a child.