Most Americans will celebrate Mother's Day by giving gifts and paying tribute to all the mothers in their lives. Our society values and honors the sacrifices that mothers make for their families.
The National Retail Federation estimates that we will spend $23.1 billion to celebrate Mother's Day this year. But in contrast to the honor that families bestow on mothers, there is one place that penalizes motherhood: the workplace.
The gender wage ratio is calculated as women's median pay divided by men's median pay. For the most recent data for the first quarter of 2018, the ratio of median weekly earnings of full-time female to male workers was 81.1 percent, or women earn, on average, 81 cents for every $1 men earn.
There are a multitude of reasons for this pay gap, including choices that women and men make in their hours of work, the occupation and industry in which they work, as well as discrimination against women.
Economists do statistical analyses on the pay gap to determine how much each reason contributes to it. But recent research shows that the gender pay gap is largely driven by mothers earning less than everyone else.