Contact: Liz Rose | 202-355-3559 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new national survey from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) highlights the difficulties mothers face in 2021. This Mother’s Day, mothers are asking for universal high-quality child care, paid leave, equal pay, and employment that secures their economic stability.

IWPR surveyed more than 1,400 women in both February and March 2021 and found:

  • Mothers want good jobs: More than six in ten mothers (62.8% of women with children under 18) are either very or somewhat worried about having enough income to pay the family’s bills, compared to one in three other women.
  • Women want access to universal high-quality child care: Close to two-thirds of mother’s (64.1% of women with children) report being very or somewhat worried about balancing work responsibilities with their own personal and family needs, compared to three in ten other women.
  • Women cannot afford to take leave unless it’s paid: 43.5% of women with children needed time off during the pandemic but weren’t able to take it. Nearly seven in ten women agree that paid leave is “very important” including 69.7 percent of women with children and 68.7 percent of women who do not currently have children under 18.
  • Women want pay transparency and equal pay: Prohibiting employers from asking for salary history and making company pay data transparent could help close the pay gap. 82.7 percent of mothers and 79.3 percent of other women want salary ranges to be made public with any vacancy announcements.

“Working mothers and caregivers had a difficult time during the Pandemic, juggling childcare and full-time work,” said IWPR’s president and CEO C. Nicole Mason. “It is time to create systems and workplaces that support women, allow them to advance in their careers, and sustain employment,” she said. “This year Breakfast in bed won’t cut it.”

“President Biden’s proposals in the American Family Plan will go a long way towards building a fair, more equitable economy for families. It will also save families across the country more than $957 Billion dollars over a ten-year period on childcare.”

IWPR’s Jeff Hayes analyzed the survey data and said the data shows, “As the nation turns to recovery, it is vital that women have the necessary supports to re-enter the workforce and sustain employment, provide for their families, and access high-quality and affordable childcare.” He noted that working women and mothers have been disproportionately impacted by job and income losses since the start of the pandemic. Compared to men, they are more likely to have lost jobs in the hardest-hit sectors and shoulder most of the caregiving responsibilities in families.