This article addresses why women remain economically vulnerable and why this vulnerability does not emerge, for most women, until after age thirty. The author posits that the bulk of women will face economic vulnerability as they hit both the glass ceiling and - for the 82% of women who become mothers - the maternal wall. The article suggests that the family gap between the wages of mothers and others accounts for an increasing proportion of the wage gap between men and women. The growing literature on the motherhood penalty highlights the need for economists to supplement the study of sex - comparing wages of men and women - with the study of gender - comparing the wages of mothers and others.
Print Location Joan Williams, Want Gender Equality? Die Childless at Thirty, 27 Women