By Marija Butkovic

The moment we start a family is a pivotal moment for our financial futures. We think about strollers, diapers, but really, childcare is the biggest financial hit. Infant care is more expensive than college in over half of the U.S., and the U.K. (where I live) is not far from this, either. Parents – often women – are forced to do this math of “my salary vs. childcare,” and this effectively kicks off the “motherhood penalty”. You haven’t heard of it? Read further.

According to the report conducted by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women today earn just 49% of the typical men’s dollar, they lose 39% of lifetime earnings after just one year out of the workforce, the penalties of taking time out of the labor force are high—and increasing, so strengthening women’s labor force attachment is critical to narrowing the gender wage gap.

Mirza – a new platform for working parents – is here to help. Its mission is to help you research fertility options, understand financial costs, and more easily navigate your parental leave policy to make the best decision for you, your family, and your career, and ultimately – make the systemic changes so that we’re not all just individuals, hacking together our own specific band-aid solution.

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