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Getting ahead at work harder for moms than dads

The common view that being a parent and advancing one's career is tougher for women is being solidified by research.

More than half, or 56 percent, of working parents found balancing work and family to be difficult, but getting ahead at work is twice as hard for females, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data.

Among working moms, 41 percent said being a parent made it harder for them to advance in their career, while 20 percent of working dads reported the same.

Nearly half of two-parent families, or 46 percent, have both parents working full time, up from 31 percent in 1970. Just over a quarter, or 26 percent, of two-parent households had a father working full time and a stay-at-home mother, versus 46 percent in 1970, the report released Wednesday found.

Not surprisingly, families with two full-time working parents are better off financially, with a median household income of $102,400, versus $84,000 for households where the father works full time and the mother part time. Households where the father was employed full time and the mother has no paid employment had a median income of $55,000.

While more female parents are working outside the home, they and their male counterparts said the female does more when it comes to overseeing the schedules and activities of their children, with about half, or 54 percent, agreeing the scenario to be the case in their homes. Nearly half, or 47 percent, also said mothers are the primary caregivers when kids become ill.

When it came to household chores and responsibilities, the division of labor become more equitable, with 59 percent of those surveyed saying the tasks are roughly shared. Sixty-one percent reported sharing disciplining and 64 percent said they shared doing activities with their children.

In households where the father works full time and the mother works part time or not at all, the distribution of labor is less balanced, with mothers taking on more parenting tasks and household chores than those who work full time.

Perceptions, however, differed, with half of mothers in two-parent households saying they do more than their partners when it comes to household chores and responsibilities, compared with 32 percent of males who said their female counterparts did more. More than half, or 56 percent, of men described household chores and responsibilities as shared, while 46 percent of females agreed.

The results are based on a survey of 1,807 U.S. parents with children under 18, conducted in September and October. Same-sex parents were included in the survey but were too small of a sample to break out separately, a Pew spokesperson said.

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