Colloquium in June 2019

Fuller, Sylvia (Professor, Department of Sociology at UBC, Canada)

As one of the main factors in motherhood wage penalties, this study calls for attention to a situation that mothers are overly represented in the low-income establishments in Canada, based on the data from Statistics Canada Workplace and Employee Survey. This between-establishment effect remains after controlling for the measures of family-friendly working conditions, which suggests hiring discrimination against mothers might be one of the mechanisms for the effect. It is also found that the between-establishment effect gets weaker in the nonprofits and in the organizations with unions or HR departments. Based on this analysis, the study points out these organizational features could help prohibit the establishment’s hiring discrimination against mothers. As a way to combat motherhood wage penalties, the study emphasizes the importance of the establishment-level institutional improvement, such as greater oversight of hiring discrimination and formalization of the HR system.

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