Working mothers are currently underrepresented in specific fields of work, in comparison to working women without children.
According to a recent Indeed Hiring Lab report, the figures for employed women between the ages of 25 and 54 with children under 18 are similar to that of employed women without children (69 percent and and 75 percent, respectively). But women without children are more likely to be hired in certain industries.
Women with children are 19 percent less likely than women the same age without children to be employed in extraction and military careers, which are both male-dominated fields. Women without children are also more likely than working mothers to be hired in careers involving sciences, design, and entertainment.
Another field more likely to hire women without children than women with children is journalism. Within journalism, editors, news analysts, reporters, and correspondents are the most underrepresented when it comes to working mothers. Women with children were also found to be underrepresented in careers like announcers, camera operators, sound technicians, according to Indeed.
Working mothers are also less likely to be found in the arts, especially amongst producers, directors, artists, actors, and dancers. And they are less likely to be found in careers working with animals, such as veterinary assistants, animal trainers, animal control workers, and animal caretakers.
So why are working moms less likely to be hired in specific fields?
Jed Kolko, Indeed chief economist, told Moneyish he believes that the answer could be as basic as women with children being drawn to certain fields of work.
Working mothers are 53 percent more likely to be teacher assistants and 34 percent more likely to be preschool/kindergarten teachers. They're also 21 percent more likely to be childcare workers in comparison to women without children. And healthcare professions like occupational therapists, dentists, and nurse practitioners see more working mothers.
Kolko also hypothesized that "it’s possible that occupations where women are the majority would be more likely to have policies and cultures in place that are friendlier to working moms.”
Kolko's theory falls into place with the finding that occupations comprised of 80 percent males hire the fewest working mothers.
These occupations could simply not be hiring working mothers. Or working mothers could be applying to these positions at lower rates.
Moms could be concerned about benefits at these companies, like work-from-home flexibility and child care -- which costs, on average, $11,666 each year and has caused a 13 percent decrease in working moms through the years. Working mothers could also be concernd about a company's health insurance policies and whether or not it offers paid maternity leave. Currently, U.S. law only grants women 12 weeks of maternity leave, unpaid.
Kolko told Moneyish he hopes to spark a change with the recent Indeed report. He hopes to inspire fields with lower working mother representation to "take a closer look as to why and really examine whether the reasons are benign, or whether this is something about the policies or benefits or culture that is making it harder for working mothers in those fields.”