Help Banish the Motherhood Penalty

We, at MotherWoman, want to applaud Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg's Roundtable Discussion on best practices for wage equality held at UMass Center at Springfield last Friday. Treasurer Goldberg articulately highlighted the impact that wage discrepancy has on the stability of our economy in MA, as well as the unfair impact on women and children. Even though the MA Equal Pay Act was passed in 1945, we continue to see huge discrepancies in the wages of women compared to their male counterparts. And Western MA is doing worse than the rest of the state, with a larger gap between women and men's take-home paychecks.

The impact is huge on our local economy as well as on the health and well-being of our families. While single women make 91 cents to a man's dollar, married women with children make 73 cents to a man's dollar and single women with children make 64 cents on a man's dollar. In fact the discrimination runs so deeply against women with children that there is a name for it: The Motherhood Penalty. And who really suffers from the motherhood penalty? The children in our community who are left in poverty because we did not do the right thing by providing women in the Commonwealth with their fair share of the pie. Women are not asking for more than we are worth but we do not want to be paid less than a man who is doing the same job that we are. We want fairness, nothing more, nothing less.

Please join us in applauding the businesses in our community who approach the wage-equality issue with transparency and fairness. We challenge every business, in Massachusetts and beyond, to take an honest and deep look at your personnel policies and wage scales and do the right thing: Pay women equally and join Treasurer Goldberg in creating the robust and equitable economy that we all deserve.

Liz Friedman
Program Director
MotherWoman
Northampton

Denise Hurst
Chair, Policy and Advocacy Committee
MotherWoman
Springfield

Linda O'Connell
Communications Leadership Team
MotherWoman
Springfield