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Is Motherhood Positive for Work?

Updated: May 20, 2019

What if we viewed motherhood as a positive at work? In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, there were many articles discussing challenges for working moms including the pay penalty, decreased promotions, perception of increased turnover, and general cultural biases. These are critical issues for improving diversity in the workplace, yet we don’t seem to address the roots of these problems, the biases themselves. Despite much research evidence to the contrary, that parenthood can have a positive effect on work outcomes, such as increasing commitment and job satisfaction, the popular press continues to feature articles that don’t quite capture the full story. There are cross-over effects between the relationships in our lives inside and outside of work.

Why is the cultivation of relationships outside of work perceived negatively for women? We know, for example, that men tend to get a fatherhood bonus whereas women get a motherhood penalty. As research on positive relationships at work and beyond increases, through this community and the sharing of these ideas, we hope to start to change this conversation.

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