Article

Is there a motherhood penalty affecting promotion at work?

The hidden costs of flexibility

Irina Fernandez-Lozano, Juan-Ignacio Martínez-Pastor e Teresa Jurado-Guerrero, UNED; M. José González, UPF;

Women with children do not face a direct penalty with regard to promotion to positions of responsibility. However, the people who are penalised with regard to promotion are those workers – men and women alike – who opt for more a more flexible working day through a reduction in working hours or through teleworking. The penalty, therefore, is an indirect one. If mothers are promoted to a lesser extent it is because they are more likely to opt for flexibility in working hours, job functions and job and employment conditions.
Key points
  • 1
       Contrary to what one might think, under the same employment conditions, women workers with children have higher scores for promotion at work than men without children. The explanation lies in the women being perceived as more competent at their work.
  • 2
       Those candidates (men or women) who telework two days per week receive lower scores for being promoted at work than their counterparts who work every day from the office.
  • 3
       People working reduced hours are worse positioned for promotion at work than those who work the 40 or more -hours per week.
  • 4
       The research analyses upward promotion to intermediate positions with supervision responsibility, not to senior management posts, in medium- and large-sized Spanish companies.
  • 5
       An experimental methodology is used that avoids social desirability biases.
Labour flexibility affects promotion at work
Labour flexibility affects promotion at work

Given the same aptitudes, when evaluating people for promotion, there is a greater penalty attached to having a reduced working day than to being a woman or to having children. In other words, the fact of being a women or having children did not penalise or reduce the probabilities of promotion within the company per se. However, an indirect penalty does exist: one of the reasons that mothers are promoted less is because they are the people who most opt for flexible working hours and working conditions.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

Infodata

Digital Economy and Society Index

Spain stands at the head of the countries of the EU-27 in the global computation of digital society indicators (connectivity, Internet use, etc). Portugal, however, is situated at the tail end.

Infodata

PhD qualifications by different branches of knowledge and by sex

While the participation of female PhD holders in Portugal is situated above the EU‑27 average in all fields of knowledge considered, in Spain the participation of female PhD holders is situated below the European average in the fields of art, humanities and social sciences.

Article

Portugal, Social Balance Sheet 2021 - A portrait of the country and of the pandemic

“Portugal, Social Balance Sheet” is an annual report that analyses poverty and social exclusion in Portugal.

You may also find interesting

Portugal, Social Balance Sheet 2021 - A portrait of the country and of the pandemic

Article

Portugal, Social Balance Sheet 2021 - A portrait of the country and of the pandemic


Social inclusion

“Portugal, Social Balance Sheet” is an annual report that analyses poverty and social exclusion in Portugal.

How have covid-19 prevention measures affected professionals working at nursing homes?

Article

How have covid-19 prevention measures affected professionals working at nursing homes?


Social inclusion

The impact of covid-19 on older people in nursing homes has been thoroughly researched, but less is known about the impact on health professionals.

The pandemic and the labour market: What we know a year later

Article

The pandemic and the labour market: What we know a year later


Social inclusion

More than one year into the pandemic, employment and hours worked are still lower than in the pre-pandemic period. This article uses secondary data from the Labour Force Survey, conducted by Statistics Portugal, and data on the registrations at Public Employment Offices (Instituto para o Emprego e Formação Profissional).