Girls under 16 earn £18.77 a week compared with £18.31 for boys, a survey shows
The gender pay gap is still some distance from closing, with women earning 10% less than men, according to the most recent official figures, and some experts predicting public sector cuts could even lead to a further widening of pay disparity this year. So it’s encouraging to see a survey which suggests that among the very young at least the trend may be reversing.
Girls aged under 16 now earn more from part-time working than their male counterparts, according to research by Halifax Savings. The poll of 1,204 children aged between eight and 15 puts girls’ average weekly earnings at £18.77 compared with £18.31 for boys.
The report doesn’t speculate on why this has happened, but does throw up some other interesting findings. The trend seems to fluctuate over time with, for example, the last time girls earning more than boys being 2005, well before the recession and when weekly earnings for children were also much higher. Back then the average weekly wage for girls was £25.52, more than a third more than what they could currently expect to earn.
Despite this massive drop in part-time earnings the percentage of children with jobs fell by just 1% last year, suggesting that hours rather than opportunities have been cut. By far the most commonly held job is the paper round (45%), followed by shop work (15%) and babysitting (13%).
Also released today is a much meatier piece of research from accountants Deloitte stating the case for governments and employers to invest more in female workers as a route to economic recovery. The report, entitled The Gender Divided: Making the Business Case for Investing in Women, argues that many countries are failing to tap into what it calls “the gender dividend” of increased sales, expanded markets and better employee performance that can be achieved when businesses make a more concerted (and financial) effort to bring female employees into the decision-making process.
Two very different reports but one distinctly related theme. Could they offer a welcome glimpse of a more equal future for men and women in the workplace? We should hope so.
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