The New York Times recently published the piece “Single Mothers Are Surging into the Work Force,” stating the share of young single mothers in the workforce has climbed about 4% points, driven by those without college degrees.
Though the article suggests new policies that have made it more feasible for single mothers to work. But it does not break down growth within demographics. But a deeper analysis of the Current Population Survey data showed there was growth at a higher wage level for single black mothers.
- According to the 2018 Motherly State of Motherhood Survey, black mothers are 4 times more likely to be single and serve as the primary breadwinners of their home.
- From 2012-2017, the number of single black mothers who earned more than $75,000 grew 106%. When compared to the growth of single white mothers at 76%.
What’s more interesting, in the past 5 years (from 2012-2017) single black mothers outpaced the income growth of all single mothers. Since these black professionals are more likely to experience unconscious bias and discrimination as they climb the corporate ladder.
Black Mothers Dominating the workforce
As discussed in TIME, once a multicultural female professional is onboarded, the absence of effective diversity management can make them feel subject to unconscious bias and discrimination. Black women are more likely to report feeling stalled and to feel that their talents aren’t recognized by their superiors.
The New York Times adds the last time single mothers’ labor force participation grew so rapidly was during the 1990s. This is driven by a thriving economy and major federal policy changes, including welfare overhaul and tax incentives.
In recent years, there has been no new federal policy that would encourage single mothers to work in large numbers. Incidentally, more than half of black Millennial mothers also feel our society could best support mothers with stronger government policies.
Perhaps these single black mothers have discovered the secret to achieving work-life balance, juggling successful careers and parenthood.
Moreover, the largest generation of single mothers in the workforce to date, over 23% of black Millennial moms feel they can combine a career and motherhood.
However, as the Center for Talent Innovation stated,
“Perhaps because they’ve been ’leaning in’ for generations. Black women on track for leadership are more likely than their white sisters to see an executive position. As the means to getting what they want from their careers.”