NYT Columnist: ‘Labor Market Punishing to Mothers.’

The New York TimesDavid Leonhardt noted that while the last three male nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court were married and had several kids, the last three female nominees (including one who withdrew her nomination) were unmarried and had no kids. “This little pattern makes the court a good symbol of the American job market,” Leonhardt wrote. “Women and men with similar qualifications – age, education, experience – are much more likely to be treated similarly today than in the past. The pay gap between them, while still not zero, has shrunk to just a few percentage points.”

 

Then Leonhardt lowered the boom, quoting a Columbia University professor who work and families, who said, “Women do almost as well as men today as long as they don’t have children.”

 

His solution? “The best hope for making progress against today’s gender inequality probably involves some combination of legal and cultural changes, which happens to be the same combination that beat back the old sexism,” he wrote. “We’ll have to get beyond the Mommy Wars and instead create rewarding career paths even for parents – fathers too – who take months or years off. We’ll have to get more creative about part-time and flexible work, too.” (August 2010)