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How much less Women earn what what that has to do with Kids


Based on a paper from an international research group, in which they calculated how the birth of a child affects the income of mothers and fathers.

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Written, researched, and visualized in collaboration with Marie-José Kolly. Read the article in German here.


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What are the reasons for the gender pay gap? Which of these could be categorized as the woman’s own decision and which are out of her control? 

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As an opening graphic, we found it important to set a basis for the reader by highlighting the different ways the gender pay gap came to be.
With this graphic we addressed some of the obvious topics, like gender bias and the glass ceiling, but we also pointed out ways that women chose lower paying jobs for the flexibility. 

We introduced the visualization with an annotated example of Germany, showing what happens long- and shortterm to a women’s income after her first child. 



One year after the birth of their first child, women in Germany experience a 78% drop in their income. Even after ten years, women still get paid 61% less. German men experience no statistically significant drop in their wages. 

We then showed the countries from the same language region together as a pair of area-ish line charts. 




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Even after ten years after the birth of a child, German women earn significantly less.

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In Austria the wages of the mothers fall even lower in the short term than in Germany. Among other things, this has to do with the fact that Austrians have a longer claim to paid parental leave than Germans.


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Persistent motherhood penalty  in the US and UK

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In the United Kingdom and the United States, women's direct income decline is lower than in German-speaking countries. But here, too, American and British women are severely affected in the long term.
 
In discussion with the researchers, we learned that policy instruments such as length of parental leave and subsudized childcare might not play the leading role in wage differences. In the big picture, social-culture norms and role models tend to be much more influencial.

How do employers react to men who want to take parental leave? Does the society expect the mother to stay with the children? Who cooks, cleans, brings the children to the doctor? When your mother stayed at home, are you more likely to?


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Low motherhood penalty  in Sweden and Denmark
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Scandinavian countries often play a pioneering role in equality between men and women. 

This is also reflected in the responses of Danes and Swedes to surveys on role models: they are significantly more liberal than in German-speaking or English-speaking countries.


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Most Danes and Swedes reject the classic gender roles
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Scandinavian countries answer much more liberally to the question “It is the men’s responsibility to earn money and the woman’s responsibility to care for the household and family.”

One fifth of the Swiss and Germans, however, agree with classic gender roles. Swiss women are more likely to reduce their workload at least by a day per week, when they give birth. 

Nevertheless, social norms change over time. In the United States, the proportion of full-time mothers has risen by 15 percent since 1970. The proportion of those who do not work has fallen by 20 percent. And the number of Swiss men working part-time increases year on year.



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