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MoneyEven the youngest workers are affected by the gender pay gap, survey finds

23:51  01 june  2019
23:51  01 june  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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A Girl Guides survey found that girls are earning nearly less per hour in their summer jobs than boys, and are These first jobs have benefits for young people, but a new report shows that they may also provide girls as young as 12 with their first experience with the gender pay gap .

The gender pay gap or gender wage gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working . Women are generally considered to be paid less than men.

Even the youngest workers are affected by the gender pay gap, survey finds© Credit: iStock/Getty Images Girl Guides surveyed girls 12 to 18 about their summer work experiences, and found that the gender wage gap starts young.

As the school year ends, teenagers across the country are securing work for the summer. These first jobs have benefits for young people, but a new report shows that they may also provide girls as young as 12 with their first experience with the gender pay gap.

Girl Guides of Canada partnered with Ipsos to ask youths aged 12 to 18 about their summer work in 2018. They found that just as Canadian women experience a gendered pay gap with men, Canadian girls also do with boys their same age.

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The gender gap in pay has narrowed since 1980, but it has remained relatively stable over the past 15 years or so. In 2018, women earned 85% of what men earned, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers in the United States.

The gender pay gap reported by ONS is a long time-series, calculated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) which samples from all employee jobs in all sizes of company. This is different from the gender pay gap based on compulsory reporting for companies with 250 or more

The survey found that in full-time summer jobs in 2018, girls earned an average of $15.26 an hour, compared with $18.01 an hour for boys — a gap of $2.75 for every hour worked.

That gap was even wider for full-time informal work with family, friends or neighbours, like babysitting, with girls earning $8.67 hourly compared with $14.98 for boys — a gap of $6.31 per hour, and a wage for the girls that's lower than any minimum wage in Canada.

"We were actually surprised at Girl Guides of Canada that they were feeling this gender inequality quite so early," said Jill Zelmanovits, the CEO of Girl Guides of Canada.

But Kerri Neil, who published a report on the gender wage gap in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the disparities for teenaged workers mirror those seen in older ones. A payroll report by ADP Canada published earlier this year found women earn 25 per cent less than men in pay, bonuses and profit sharing, for example, and the St. John's Status of Women Council says the gender pay gap in Newfoundland and Labardor is the largest in Canada.

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The gender pay gap is much larger among African American and Hispanic female workers . Hispanic women made 54 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man earned, which means they will lose more than a million dollars over a Asian female workers are faring the best at narrowing the gap .

But a gender pay gap soon appears, and it grows significantly over the next two decades. So what changes? But even married women without children earn less, research shows, because women are more likely to give up job opportunities to either move or stay put for their husband’s job.

"I think it really hurts women," Neil said. "It really hurts families. And I think it really hurts our society."

First survey of its kind

Young women become aware of gendered discrimination at work in their teens. A nationwide survey of teen girls done by Girl Guides in 2017 found that 19 per cent of them were unmotivated to pursue their career of choice because of concerns they would be treated worse because they are female, and 24 per cent said they were unmotivated because they thought they would be compensated less than male colleagues.

Even the youngest workers are affected by the gender pay gap, survey finds© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Even the very definition of work or a job is influenced by gender, the survey found. Girl Guides and Ipsos asked both girls and boys about their summer work experience in order to capture both traditional employment — for example, a part-time job at a retail store — and less-formal arrangements like babysitting or yard work.

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The gender pay gap in the occupation only appears to be widening. A March 2017 paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that at firms in the financial services sector, which disproportionately employs male workers , women were more likely to face gender discrimination.

The gender pay gap is often oversimplified. Women, we ' re told, earn between 76 cents to 79 cents for every dollar men earn. But it all depends on what you But men still make more than women in most professions -- considerably more in some occupations than others, according to a new study by the

The survey found that girls aged 16-18 were more likely to be working in summer jobs, while younger ones were more likely to be doing informal work for family, friends or neighbours. Also, girls who identified as black, Indigenous or Asian were more likely to spend their summers working full time in informal arrangements.

Even the youngest workers are affected by the gender pay gap, survey finds© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Just over a quarter of the girls who worked during the summer months were employed providing care for other people, for example in babysitting or doing elderly care. Girls were overrepresented in jobs of that type compared with boys, just as women are compared to men, Zelmanovits said.

Undervalued work

Even if choosing a particular kind of work is a matter of personal preference, the wage disparities for caring work versus other types of employment still show how we undervalue work we see as traditionally done by women, Neil said.

"There is still this idea that caretaking is a woman's job — you know, women are more nurturing and better suited for that kind of work, it's assumed," she said.

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The gender pay gap for full-time workers is entirely in favour of men for all occupations; however, occupational crowding has an effect since those occupations with the smallest gender pay gap have almost equal employment shares between men and women. When looking at age groups, the gap for

The gender pay gap – This measures the difference between men and women’s average But, our National Student Money Survey found that the pay gap can still have an impact on you, even As well as the gender pay gap , there are also noticeable differences in earnings for black and minority

"And I think because it's considered women's work, it is often devalued in the workplace."

For example, Neil said, the lower pay for caring jobs like babysitting reflects the low wages earned by early childhood educators, even when they have completed training programs that put their education level on par with more highly compensated jobs like truck driving.

Even the youngest workers are affected by the gender pay gap, survey finds© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

It could be that people relying on younger workers to provide summer child care can't afford other options themselves, Neil said. Breaking that cycle requires changes on a wider level regarding child care, not just a shift in how much individual teenagers are making, she said.

"This is a problem for everyone, so that this kind of thing doesn't happen."

Tips for parents and teens

Actively talking to girls and young women about properly valuing their work, charging a reasonable hourly rate, and determining if a job pays fairly could help reduce these wage gaps, Zelmanovits said. Only two girls in 10 felt comfortable raising concerns about their compensation, she said.

"They felt like when they went into what the job situation was, they didn't really have the skill set to negotiate their value," she said.

Even the youngest workers are affected by the gender pay gap, survey finds© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

For its part, Girl Guides has tips on its website for employers, girls and their parents, and plans to incorporate role play negotiation into its programming.

"We're actually able to teach girls and help them have some practice in a safe space," she said.

But Neil said while she's glad Girl Guides took the initiative to study this issue, it's unfair and unrealistic to expect teenagers to individually change a widespread situation that also affects adult women with more workplace experience.

"I think it's more up to society to change the way that we value women's work," she said.

Further research is needed, the report said, to determine whether the different representation of girls in certain kinds of work versus boys is a matter of girls choosing that work, or of them defaulting to it because of stereotypes and societal expectations.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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