Studies have shown that motherhood comes with a negative perception in the workplace and can affect pay raises and promotions. Now, a FCGU study shows there is a crucial difference if you work from home!
The study was conducted by Dr. Meagan Baskin, associate professor of management at Florida Gulf Coast University, with a simple question: Does being a parent change your bosses’ perception of how hard you work?
Studies show that women who are open about having children in their workplace are perceived to not be as good at their job. But fathers, on the other hand, benefit from talking about fatherhood.
This is called the motherhood penalty/fatherhood premium concept.
Using face-manipulating software, the professors used two images, a man and a woman. The first shot showed just the fake employees. The next shot showed toys but no kids in the background, so it was unclear if the person had children. The final shot showed a child and toys behind the employee.
They gave supervisors a fake conversation with the worker. The fake employee was top-performing, and their smile, race and clothes were the same to keep the setting controlled. Then the supervisors were asked to rate the employee’s performance and commitment.
“Where there were just kids’ toys in the background, we saw the motherhood penalty happening, but when they actually saw there were kids at home, it went down” Dr. Meagan Baskin
Having the kids present was actually better and helped their performance evaluations. Spending more time with them is one of the key benefits of working remotely!
The moral of the study? Don’t hide your kids during remote work. Baskin theorizes that if you’re not open, your boss comes up with a reason you’re not working or getting a job done, and that could be much worse.
As for fathers in the remote space, the premium still existed across the board.