Some 78% of women have taken a pay cut to get more flexibility in their jobs after having children, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
The poll shows 63% have taken a pay cut in regular jobs and 15% have taken a pay reduction as a result of going self employed. Just 23% had not taken a pay cut.
For many, the pay cut was a result of going part time. One woman said she had been forced to reduce her hours after a childcare crisis, for instance.
The poll follows a recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which shows the gender pay gap widens consistently for 12 years after women have their first child.
According to the research, the gender pay gap – which on average means women receive about 18% less pay per hour for their work than men – is smaller for young women before they become mothers, but by 12 years after their first child is born women receive 33% less pay per hour than men.
The widening of the hourly wage gap after childbirth is associated with reduced hours of paid work, but is not because women see an immediate cut in hourly pay when they reduce their hours.
Rather, women who work half-time lose out on subsequent wage progression, says the report, meaning that the hourly wages of men (and of women in full-time work) pull further and further ahead. In addition, women who take time out of paid work altogether and then return to the labour market miss out on wage growth.