Being a mother increases productivity
Reconciling work and family life It is the great challenge of many families and a problem for many companies. Although today many mothers manage to combine work and family effectively, in the workplace continues to reign the idea that working mothers are irremediably less productive than women without children.
However, now, a study carried out by the Federal Bank of Saint Louis (USA) has concluded the opposite: being a mother increases productivity.
The objective of the researchers was to understand the impact of have children in highly qualified women whose work is often difficult to assess in the workplace. To do this, they conducted questionnaires to 30,000 economists, of whom only 9,939 answered. In these surveys, productivity was measured through four different scales related to the number of academic publications made, linked to the quality of the research journals in which they were disseminated.
Parents with more children, more productive parents
The result of this study determined that, contrary to what was traditionally thought, working women with children have been more productive than women without children in almost all periods, during a 30-year career. In addition, this productivity develops exponentially: most productive women are those who have two or more children; that is, more children, more productivity. Specifically, the most significant difference occurs in the first five years of work.
Likewise, for men, having children also translates into an increase in productivity. Although those parents with one child have the same productivity as men who do not have children, however, parents with more than one child produce more throughout their working lives. Only in the last years of working life, having no more than one child (or none at all) has meant an increase in productivity for men.
Moments of higher productivity for mothers
The study points to the two moments in which women have greater productivity throughout their working lives. In this sense, it should be noted that those two moments in which the working mother achieves greater productivity occur just before giving birth or long after their children have been born.
On the contrary, at specific moments, such as when children are still small, productivity is between 15 and 17% lower than that of a woman without children, and of 5% less parents. In addition, those women who are mothers below the age of 30 see a negative effect on their work. Also for single mothers the effect of pregnancy is negative, as well as for men without a fixed position.
Profile of mothers with higher productivity
The researchers of the study themselves have pointed out several variables related to the profile of women, which must be taken into account when examining the results. The women surveyed fulfilled a series of characteristics:
- Women with high qualification. The study in people of high qualification, women with a complete academic and professional formation.
- Planned motherhood. The women surveyed who plan to have a family do so, they say, in a conscientious way.
- Stable employment. Women who plan to have more children do so when they have stable employment and a position in the academic world, making it impossible to equate women with children in an unplanned way.
This profile of surveyed mothers indicates that, fulfilling these three characteristics, women who want to have children can redirect their professional career in a way that benefits their family, and take care of their children in the way that least affects their future work.
Patricia Núñez de Arenas