Apr 12, 2016 04:12 AM EDT

U.S. Jobs Expose' : ‘Motherhood Penalty’ Affects Women Who Have No Children

Women in the workplace have already been saddled with the fight for equal pay, but now another concern has the potential of worsening their working condition further. The issue of "Motherhood Penalty" or pregnant women workers is also affecting women who have no children at all.  

The equal pay debate is largely focused on women getting the same pay as men while the other issue of "pregnancy penalty" has not been given the attention it deserves.  

But some experts believe that even the mere possibility that a woman can bear children is a valid reason for some companies to not promote her, or for those seeking jobs, to not accept her.

The job advancement outlook is not really sunny for women. Some studies have found out that a woman can lose out on her promotions after her child is born. A University of Massachusetts study conducted by sociologist Michelle Budig revealed that women lose approximately 4 percent in lifetime income per child.

In the course of this study, Budig found out that for most men, fatherhood can mean a wage bonus, but for most women, that could mean a wage penalty.

"While the gender pay gap has been decreasing, the pay gap related to parenthood is increasing," said Budig.

There were no external factors to cause that pay penalty, such as women working fewer hours than men. Budig proposes that the reason could be workplace stereo typing.

"It seems to be the motherhood penalty increases as children age. It's not like you immediately get a lower paying job, but you miss out on the next promotion, you don't get the next raise, your performance is evaluated lower," Budig explained.

Another woman, Katharine Zaleski, the president of PowertoFly lends her two-cents worth on the matter.

"A lot of women feel like, if they don't keep it under wraps, they're going to get taken off projects that they'd been spending months, if not years working towards," said Zaleski who co-founded PowertoFly after becoming a mother.

Expectant women are simply "cut out of the conversation," she added.

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