More than two-thirds (68%) of working mothers claim to earn less than they did before having a baby, according to research by Maternitycover.com.
Its research, Boardrooms and babies, which surveyed 1,300 UK women, found that only 5% of respondents experienced an increase in salary.
The research also found that 45% of respondents got into debt due to maternity leave pay, with 23% of this group blaming their employer’s poor maternity package.
More than half (54%) were even forced to end their maternity leave earlier than expected because of money worries.
But 73% of respondents said they are better employees as a result of having a baby, with 32% of this group believing that motherhood has made them more focused and organised.
Paul Jenkins, chief executive officer of Maternitycover.com, said: “Women face countless unspoken taboos when it comes to having children and maintaining a career. Our survey makes this all too clear.
“We wanted to drill down into what women really experience, practically and financially, in the workplace when a baby appears on the scene. Only by lifting the lid in this way can we encourage conversation and improve communication between everyone involved.”