David Leonhardt on 'Momism'

Seen through the lens of economics, the picture of gender equality looks a lot rosier than it once did. Women still earn less than men do, but barely. Once you control for factors like age, education, and experience, the pay gap is just a few percentage points. 

The Ideas Report But as economics writer David Leonhardt points out, the picture is gloomier outside that carefully controlled frame. Female MBA students start out making roughly the same as their male counterparts, but after 15 years, they earn 75 percent less. Scanning the list of Fortune 500 CEOs, it's clear that only 15 are women. When a woman does make it to the top -- and stay there -- the chances are high that she has no children. 


Leonhardt has a name for this problem: "momism." And in this video, he proposes a solution.

More video from the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival

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Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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