According to a working paper series by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, motherhood may be an indicator for a productive worker. The study analyzes the research productivity of academic economists, both women and men. Thus far, their conclusion: “unconditional effect of motherhood is zero”.
The study did observe a few exceptions: women that became mothers before the age of 30 and for women who are not in a committed relationship. The potential conclusion: they were are unaware of resources available. Women, ranging from 30-34, tend to fare better when having one child at a time.
Have young children? They do take a toll on productivity. Researchers averaged a 15-17% drop in productivity for women with young kids. Does having multiple children affect productivity? In short, yes. First child results in 9.5% drop, the second diminishes 12.5%, and the third child has an effect of an 11% drop—totaling a 33% loss in productivity and/or four years of research when a woman has 3 preteens at home. If you’re a mother of multiple teenagers, you probably knew this without the science.
Where do mothers make up and outpace their peers in productivity? According to the research, before and after the child’s birth mothers are engines of productivity.
Even with multiple children, when productivity is averaged out over the course of a career, mothers remain more productive than their peers. Motherhood is a strong indicator of productivity. Arguably, a person that understands commitment and responsibility when it comes to raising kids will most likely take ownership of being a responsible employee.
How should working mothers or mothers-to-be reframe planning motherhood?
Locate employer resources
Women with children are the fastest growing group of the U.S. workforce. Employers are moving to see how they can work with mothers. Check your company policy regarding paid maternity leave. In the U.S., if your company does not offer paid maternity leave, they are legally required to give you unpaid time off until you return to your position. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects a job for up to 12 weeks during any 12 month period if she meets certain eligibility criteria (such as if she has worked for an employer for at least 1 year). Want to see your employer’s leave policy? Fairygodboss collated maternity leave information from over 1,600 companies. Check their database here.
At Shore, we support female-led business in helping them manage the day-to-day, allowing them more freedom to spend with their loved ones.
We handle the daily, so you can focus on the grind (of business, motherhood, and beyond).