Pay gap from the get go: Women earn only 80 percent of what men do even just one year out of college. Ten years later that's dropped...

Pay gap from the get go: Women earn only 80 percent of what men do even just one year out of college. Ten years later that’s dropped to 69 percent.

Women tend to cluster in lower-paid fields such as education, health and psychology, and males dominate higher-paying engineering, mathematics and physical sciences. But the gap also persists when they’re in the same professions. (Women’s college GPAs were higher than men’s in every major.)

The research by American Association of University Women Educational Foundation tracked data from 19,000 students in the 1990s.

— Reuters and Los Angeles Times.

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Bringing home the bacon: In 57 percent of married couples, husbands and wives work. Wives’ earnings contribute 35 percent of family income in the U.S., and in one third of dual-earning couples, the wife brings home the bigger paycheck.

— USINFO, U.S. Department of State; http://usinfo.state.gov

Married moms on the job: The percentage of married mothers, especially those with young children, in the workplace peaked in 1997-8, then declined for most demographic groups and has remained relatively stable since 2000.

In 2005, 60 percent of married mothers with preschoolers were employed as were 53.5 percent of mothers with infants and 75 percent with school-age children.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’s February 2007 report; www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/mlrhome.htm

Part time’s the best time: A sharply increasing portion of America’s working mothers — 60 percent, up from 48 percent 10 years ago — say they’d prefer to work part time rather than full time or staying home.

The Pew Research Center national survey found that only 21 percent of working mothers with children under 18 viewed full-time work as ideal, down from 32 percent in 1997; 19 percent said staying home would be ideal, nearly unchanged from 1997.

Among stay-at-home mothers, 48 percent said that was the best arrangement, up from 39 percent in 1997.

Associated Press

More intense parenting, more work: Employed mothers spend at least as much time with their kids as mothers did decades ago, made possible by doing less housework, “multitasking” more and spending less time with their spouse, extended family and friends. Fathers are also doing more in the home than in the past.

Total workload for employed mothers (in and out of the home) averages five hours more per week than employed fathers and almost 19 hours more per week than homemaker mothers.

— University of Maryland sociologists Suzanne Bianchi, John Robinson and Melissa Milkie

Kids pity parents: In a nationally representative study, more than 1,000 third-through-12th graders were asked for their top wish affecting parents’ work. The largest percentage wished their mothers (34 percent) and fathers (27.5 percent) would be less stressed and tired. (Contrary to parents’ expectations, only 10 percent wished for more time with Mom; 15.5 percent with Dad.)

— Ellen Galinsky, Families and Work Institute, reported at May conference of Council on Contemporary Families