Just a simple reminder that the wage gap will never be bridged as long as women in the United States are losing years of income to give birth, and that women in the United States will not stop losing years of income to give birth until we have a decent length maternity leave. Forcing women to return to work when there’s a 3 month old baby keeping her up all night and eating half her income in daycare isn’t working. Women in financially advantaged situations are understandably taking years-long sabbaticals to have their families, meaning educated, otherwise well-paid women are leaving the workforce in droves and bringing their talent with them instead of gender-balancing the tops of organizations. Women in disadvantaged situations are forced to go back to work and lose time they can’t afford to lose when their infants won’t sleep, get fevers from daycare, and whatever else may happen. It’s inhumane.
Production-greedy corporations have made an America that is hostile to motherhood. They’ve created an environment where it is impossible to have a family and a job without making serious and unnecessary sacrifices. When women give birth, they are creating taxpayers and consumers. They become more powerful consumers themselves. They become more invested in the financial health of their family. They could be better workers, better consumers, but we kick them out of the office. When we disregard their needs, we hurt everyone.