By Eric Morath

Ariane Hegewisch, program director of employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said the Chicago study highlights that working mothers do not have enough support.

“We know that someone who has unreliable child care is more likely to be late to work or miss work,” she said. “Mothers may be less productive because the infrastructure to allow them to be equally productive isn’t there.”

Ms. Hegewisch also said setting aside occupation and educational choice—factors controlled for in Dr. Gallen’s study—as causes for the gender-pay gap oversimplifies the issue.

Women may choose not to take jobs in higher paying and potentially more productive occupations where relatively few women work, such as construction or engineering, because they’re more likely to face harassment in those fields, she said.

Other factors, including career counseling and too few female role models in certain industries, can cause young women to choose educational paths that lead to careers that pay less, Ms. Hegewisch said.

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