Smart Money: Why Moms Face a Pay Penalty, and What to Do About It

Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions.

This episode is dedicated to exploring the motherhood pay gap and potential solutions.

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Our take

You might have heard about the gender pay gap — or the difference in earnings between men and women — but what about the “motherhood penalty”? According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, the gender pay gap grows more pronounced during a time when adults are likely starting and building their families: between ages 35 and 44.

But what does that look like in real numbers? Calculations from the National Women’s Law Center show that women who work full time year-round make 84 cents for every dollar men make. Mothers make only 74 cents for every dollar fathers make, amounting to $17,000 less per year.

In this episode, we explore the financial hit women take when they become mothers. We speak to experts who help us understand…

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This article was written by Sean Pyles and originally published on