Is there a motherhood penalty affecting promotion at work?
The hidden costs of flexibility
1Contrary 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.
2Those 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.
3People working reduced hours are worse positioned for promotion at work than those who work the 40 or more -hours per week.
4The research analyses upward promotion to intermediate positions with supervision responsibility, not to senior management posts, in medium- and large-sized Spanish companies.
5An experimental methodology is used that avoids social desirability biases.
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.