Equal Pay Day comes around once a year. This day in April marks how far into the year that women have to work to earn what their male peers earned in the previous year.
Why, more than 50 years since equal pay became law, are we talking about this? Why do women still make roughly 80 cents for every dollar that a man makes? The are many reasons--and they’re quite complex--but the reality is that women continue to be the main providers in their home for childcare and eldercare. Once mothers return from maternity leave, research shows they make, in a lifetime, 4 percent less per child than before they became mothers. Oftentimes, this is referred to as the Motherhood Penalty. Ironically, there’s a phenomenon called the Fatherhood Bonus that shows men who become fathers make up to 7 percent more over the remainder of their career.
Critics of the pay gap argue that women choose jobs that pay less, or that they don’t ask for promotions and raises as often as men. But the unspoken truth about equal pay is that women who choose to become mothers are penalized with less pay.
This truth is beginning to be exposed. For example, a recent documentary episode (part of the Vox series) begins to detail how social norms and expectations for women, and their role in the family, is a major contributor the pay gap.
We take this topic seriously at Luna, where 75 percent of the physical therapy staff are women, and many are mothers or plan to become mothers. It’s one of the reasons why we’re so committed to flexibility, independence, and earning potential. By dictating their own hours and leveraging Luna’s system to manage everything from scheduling to documentation, women have more time for what matters the most - their families. And their earning potential is completely up to them. There is no gap in what Luna pays therapists.
We hope Luna can set the standard for providing women and mothers with the flexibility and personal income model that leads to pay equality for all.