Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University economist, argued in a 2015 paper that more flexible hours would go a long way toward solving the gender pay gap, which she said is often caused in part by women working fewer hours and stopping work at times, often to raise children.
That’s one reason Shear Structural, an engineering firm started by three women in Chamblee, prioritizes flexibility, said co-founder Malory Atkinson.
“They say a lot more women study STEM fields than actually end up working in it,” she said, “so we’re very cognizant of that, and we do whatever it takes to be accommodating.”
The gender pay gap is especially wide for women with children and women who are married (because employers suspect they will have children). Men, by contrast, tend to get paid more after marriage based on the assumption it will make them more ambitious.
“Marriage adds a premium to a man’s income, and it’s a drag on women’s income,” said Ariane Hegewisch, study director for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington.