U of G Psych Prof Explains How the ‘Mommy Penalty’ Affects All Women

a photo of Prof. Leanne Son Hing

Psychology Prof. Leanne Son Hing

U of G psychology professor Leanne Son Hing offered comment in a Vice Canada article about how the so-called “mommy penalty” affects all women – including those who choose not to have children.

The “mommy penalty” refers to the hit women take to their careers that they never quite recover from every time they choose to take a break from the workforce to raise a baby.

Recent research suggests that it’s not just mothers who face this problem; even women who don’t have children are less likely to become managers simply because they are women and there is a perception they could leave their jobs.

Son Hing said perceptions about what women are like or what managers should be like affect decision makers when it’s time to select candidates for promotion.

Son Hing has studied how explicit and implicit prejudice in the workplace leads to women being passed over during key workplace decisions such as hiring and promotion.

She appears frequently in news stories about gender discrimination in the workplace, and is a senior fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research in the Successful Societies Program.