The gender pay gap starts young, bank says

Lana Wilson / July 16, 2013 05:07 PM

In a recent survey, Westpac has discovered that gender pay discrimination starts as early as childhood, with young males earning more pocket money for more complicated or labour intense household chores than young girls.

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Photo: vagawi/Flickr

The survey, which formed part of the company’s market research for a new mobile phone app, discovered that parents divide tasks according to gender, with boys more likely to mow lawns and wash cars, while girls are typically dealt inside-specific chores, such as washing dishes and folding laundry.

The survey also found that girls spend considerably more time completing their chores for less money, earning approximately $45 dollars per week for 2.7 hours of work, while their male counterparts earn an average of $48 dollars per week for just 2.1 hours of work.

Westpac retail banking General Manager Gai McGrath said the higher rates of pay could inspire girls to volunteer for more labour intensive chores.

“Some chores tend to have a higher monetary value, like mowing the lawn,” she said.

“So maybe that is a good insight for girls – if mowing the lawn is more highly valued, maybe they might put their hands up to do it.”

The survey’s findings come as debate on the issue of the gender pay gap increases in mainstream media, with some media outlets suggesting men are paid between 17.5% and 33% more than women in the workplace.

Do you think paying boys and girls different rates of pocket money encourages a gender pay gap later in life?

Have your say! Head over to Who’s Who of Australian Women’s Facebook page and comment with your thoughts.

Source:, Cleo Magazine, Women’s Agenda

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