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Maternity, parenthood and pay gaps

There’s been quite a bit of discussion in the media on the gender pay gap recently, after a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies stated that many women are penalised for taking time off to have children. Reading more carefully it seems that it is not so much taking maternity leave that is an issue but that women with children often return to work part time and so they “lose out on subsequent wage progression, meaning that the hourly wages of men (and of women in full-time work) pull further and further ahead”

According to an article on the BBC website, “having a child costs women both in their pay packet and in their chances of being promoted”. You can read the article Mothers’ pay lags far behind men

The BBC have also produced this handy if somewhat depressing graph based on the IFS stats.

Screengrab from BBC

Obviously this is not a very encouraging read and Women’s Tech Hub wants to help women working in tech to have a more positive experience, which is why we are keen to encourage discussion of these issues with local tech companies of all sizes. Any company that signs up to our membership is offered an annual gender audit as just one pointer to identify what will help them to increase diversity, to look at what they do to support women (and parents) and encouraged to join our ReBoot. We want to find and feed back examples good practice when employing women, especially those that make an effort to help mothers. So if you know of any good family-friendly workplace initiatives then please tell us about them – we’d love to hear of ones where fathers are also encouraged to work part-time without being penalised.

Bristol Women’s Voice are working with UWE researchers to find out more from women working in STEM about their experiences of maternity leave. If you live or work in Bristol then do fill in their online survey and help build a pictuure of what is happening locally.

And if you are an employer wondering what to do with an employee coming back from maternity leave then here’s some useful advice from the Federation Of Small Businesses