Do women do as well as men… as long as they don't have kids?

Aug. 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM ET

Despite great strides in equality among the sexes, are women still held back professionally by having children? In a New York Times article titled “Economic odds stacked against mothers,” a case is made that there are indeed many successful women today, but that mothers often suffer career damage. Studies suggest that motherhood is a main factor hurting women in the workplace:Most parents are simply not able to have it all, regardless of where they are on the income spectrum.A recent study of business school graduates from the University of Chicago found that in the early years after graduating, men and women had “nearly identical labor incomes and weekly hours worked.” Men and women also paid a similar career price for taking off or working part time. Women, however, were vastly more likely to do so.As a result, 15 years after graduation, the men were making about 75 percent more than the women. The study — done by Marianne Bertrand, Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz — did find one subgroup of women whose careers resembled those of men: women who had no children and never took time off. What do you think? Are women without children more likely to succeed in the workplace? Do we need cultural and legal changes to ensure equality?