The Gender Pay Gap is Costing Us : So Bring on Daddy Day Care
3 min read, TSJ

The Gender Pay Gap is Costing Us : So Bring on Daddy Day Care

Women’s empowerment is not just a fundamentally moral cause, it is also an absolute economic no-brainer.

Christine Lagarde, MD, IMF

If you’re a working woman, chances are your average earnings over a lifetime will lower than a man’s. And by some accounts, it could take up to 170 years for this to change. Despite the fact that women are closing the gap with men when it comes to levels of education, they are falling behind on pay. This inequality isn’t just unfair, but it’s also pretty expensive.

This 3 part series takes a look at the economic gains of closing the gender pay gap.

Daddy, Gender Pay Gap, The Social Jungle

Part 1: Why We Need Daddy Day Care

If you’re a woman, your average earnings over a lifetime are likely to be lower than a man’s. And by some accounts, it could take up to 170 years for this to change. Despite the fact that women are closing the gap with men when it comes to levels of education, they are falling behind on pay. This inequality isn’t just unfair, but it’s also pretty bad economics.

This 3 part series takes a look at the economic gains of closing the gender pay gap.

Why We Need Daddy Day Care

In almost every developed country around the world, employers have to give mothers paid leave when they have a baby. Fathers on the other hand, sort of get off the hook. The average length of paternity leave taken across the UK and US is two weeks. When it comes to mentioning the topic, both fathers and firms alike don’t like to talk about it. But this can be expensive.

Consider Japan, its economic growth rates have steadily fallen since the late 1980s. Not only does the country face a shrinking work force, but what makes matters worse is that 7 out of 10 women drop out of the workforce after having their first child.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged that getting new mothers back into work could boost the country’s GDP by up to 15%. His solution so far has been to boost maternity leave for mothers. But the problem is, the longer the maternity leave mothers take, the worse is the job discrimination they face afterwards. What the PM should be doing is sending the daddies home to share the burden of childcare more equally.

We can look to countries such as Sweden and Norway for great examples of daddy day care. Swedish fathers take on average four months paternity leave to take care of their newborns, and the country has a female employment rate of 72%. And to top it off, Norway and Sweden rank third and fourth in the World Economic Forum’s global gender gap index.

Getting fathers to chip in more can really help the gender equality cause. As long as women are the only parent taking a prolonged absence from work, it will be hard to tackle under-representation of women in the workforce. So bring on paternity leave and let daddy day care begin.

April 1, 2017

About Author

Scott Burrell I am in my final year of study in Economics at The University of Edinburgh. I am not sure what I want to do when I graduate, but my strongest desires are to continue to travel and learn. A good piece of writing should make provoke a reaction in the reader, and I hope I am able to do that.


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