Working Moms Who Are Sole Financial Providers Earn Significantly Less Than Working Dads, CareerBuilder's Annual Mother's Day Survey Finds

-Chief Development Officer and Mother of Two Offers Tips for Better Balance -

May 05, 2011, 06:45 ET from CareerBuilder.com

CHICAGO, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Although the economic situation is improving for U.S. families, working moms report they are struggling to financially support their families and have quality time at home.  More than one-third (35 percent) of working moms and 44 percent of working dads surveyed by CareerBuilder said they are the sole financial provider for their household.  Comparing these two groups, working moms were three times as likely to earn less than $35,000, while working dads were more than twice as likely to earn $50,000 or more and nearly three times as likely to earn six figures.  CareerBuilder's annual Mother's Day survey conducted from February 21 to March 10, 2011, among men and women, employed full-time, with children 18 and under living in the household.

Forty-five percent of working moms who are the sole financial provider for their household earn less than $35,000, compared to 15 percent of working dads who are the sole breadwinner.  Twenty-eight percent of these moms earn $50,000 or more compared to 63 percent of men.  Seven percent of these moms earn six figures compared to 18 percent of men.

In addition to financial challenges, heavier workloads and longer hours are resulting in less quality time at home. One quarter (25 percent) of all working moms said they spend two hours or less with their children each work day, up from 17 percent in 2010.  Twenty-four percent take work home at least once a week.

Finding a better work/life balance is a critical issue for working moms.  Although it can at times be difficult to make ends meet, 31 percent of all working moms said they would take a job with less pay if it meant they could spend more time with their children.

"While all indications point to economic recovery, working moms are still waiting to feel the effects," said Hope Gurion, Chief Development Officer at CareerBuilder, and mother of two. "However, these moms possess a great deal of resourcefulness and resilience and continue to provide for their families.  While moms say they would give up things, including pay, to spend more time with their children, they are making the most of the time they do have and getting creative in work arrangements."  

Gurion recommends the following tips:

Talk to other moms – Many families are in the same boat as you and having a support network is essential to your personal and professional sanity.  Get tips from other working moms on how they juggle personal and professional commitments, how they've managed through difficult financial situations and how they've moved ahead in their careers.

Keep an "I'm Fabulous" file – Keep track of all of your accomplishments within the organization, quantifying results whenever possible, and list out the additional responsibilities you have taken on in the last year.  It helps you to build your case when negotiating for a better salary or consideration for promotion with your employer.

Go in with a game plan – The vast majority of working moms who have taken advantage of flexible work arrangements said it hasn't negatively impacted their careers, so talk to your supervisor or HR department and explore options.  Make sure to come to that conversation with a game plan on how you can manage workload, cover responsibilities, etc.  

Get organized – Structure in your life will save you time, stress and mental energy.  Keep one calendar for business and family commitments to avoid double-booking. Set up a schedule for chores, homework, family activities, playtime, etc.

Remember quality over quantity – Make the most of your personal time.  When you're home, it's all about them.  Wait until after the children go to bed before checking email or finishing up that presentation.  

Schedule "me time" – Working moms need to take care of themselves too.  Put actual time on the calendar for an hour or more of doing something you enjoy such as going to the gym, taking a walk, reading, etc.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 484 working moms and 836 working dads of kids 18 and under living in the household (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) between February 21 and March 10, 2011 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 484 and 836, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 4.45 and +/- 3.39 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. 

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 40 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

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Michael Erwin
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SOURCE CareerBuilder.com

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