Report reveals the gender wage gap starts for girls as young as twelve
TORONTO, May 1, 2019 /CNW/ - Girls earn approximately $3.00 less per hour, on average, than boys for full-time summer jobs according to a national survey released today by Girl Guides of Canada (GGC). The survey, conducted by Ipsos on behalf of GGC, polled girls and boys aged 12-18 on their experiences at work in the summer of 2018.
The survey found that girls not only made less on-average in full-time summer jobs - defined as employment in a more formal setting or establishment, such as working in a store or office - but that the gap widens further when we look at full-time work in an informal setting for family, friends, or neighbours, where girls are making on average $6.31 less than boys.
"We know girls start to worry about the inequality they'll face in the workforce as early as their teen years, but this isn't just a future issue," says Jill Zelmanovits, CEO of Girl Guides of Canada. "Summer jobs teach girls about what to expect from the workforce as adults – what is acceptable and what is not. That's why it's so important for girls to have experiences and mentors that help build their confidence and grow their self-esteem."
Like adult women, girls are over-represented in "caring" work
The top sectors where girls were employed saw boys significantly under-represented – and vice versa, mirroring the same pattern we see in the adult workforce. Adult women in Canada are much more likely than men to work in industries often described as 'caring', such as education, childcare and healthcare.i While girls and boys were just as likely to have summer jobs (35 per cent versus 34 per cent, respectively), there are two clear paths that they are taking.
Girls were over-represented in the following areas:
- Caring for others, such as babysitting, eldercare or working at a daycare, in both formal and informal work settings
- Girls: 28 per cent
- Boys: 17 per cent
Boys were over-represented in the following areas:
- Maintenance, gardening, or grounds-keeping:
- Girls: 9 per cent
- Boys: 23 per cent
- Manufacturing or construction:
- Girls: 3 per cent
- Boys: 9 per cent
Less than half of girls (45 per cent) said they were very satisfied with their pay, however the survey revealed that most are not negotiating their salary; 79 per cent of girls said they could not negotiate compensation. Summer jobs offer a valuable opportunity for girls to learn about things like negotiating salaries and other 'soft' skills that are needed to help girls and women advance in the workplace.
Work brings skills and experiences, but also risk of harassment and assault
More than half of the girls surveyed (52 per cent) said they gained skills through summer employment that would help in a future career and 56 per cent said that they made friends at work. However, past research shows that girls are worried about what they might encounter in their future work life (2018 Report: Women in the Workforce). In fact, 1 in 4 teen girls (24 per cent) do not feel motivated to pursue their dream career because they are concerned they will be compensated less than their male counterparts.
That said, girls also said they had negative experiences at work: 1 in 10 (13 per cent) girls reported some form of sexual harassment or assault on the job in summer 2018. That number increases to 1 in 5 (23 per cent) for girls with an annual family income of less than $40,000.
The importance of girl-led programs
Girl Guides of Canada encourages girls from a young age to pursue a wide range of interests, by offering engaging program options with the support of women mentors, ranging from innovative STEM activities, to financial know-how, to discovering the power of their true selves. This programming can help arm girls with the tools and resources they need to succeed, which is especially important considering past research indicates 1 in 4 teen girls (25 per cent) do not know any female role models who have their dream job, who they can look to as aspiration (2018 Report: Women in the Workforce).
"In Sparks, girls as young as five-years old practice skills that they can use their whole lives, such as resiliency, independence and open mindedness," said Zelmanovits. "This survey shows that girls need places and spaces that empower them and provide them with opportunities that could lead to future job skills. It also demonstrates the need to talk to girls about the value of their time and work so they can explore the jobs they want at the salary they deserve."
For girls looking to take jobs in the summer of 2019, Girl Guides of Canada offers these suggestions:
- Value your time: Whether you are using your summertime to work, for volunteering, or for leisure, think about what matters to you and the benefits you might get from work
- Think long-term: Look for opportunities to make your summer job a learning experience and a springboard for something more
- Get comfortable talking about pay and expectations: It's essential you know what your employer expects from you and what you're specifically being paid to do
- Grab a hold of opportunities for mentorship: If there's a leader at your job that you aspire to be like, ask to learn from them
- Know your right to feel safe at work: You should never be made to feel unsafe at work. If you experience harassment, unwanted touching, or sexist behavior, you can inform someone and ask for help
What can we do?
We all have a role to play in equipping girls to thrive at work today and in the future workforce. To help employers and parents ensure 2019 is a safer, fairer, and more meaningful year for girls at work, GGC has some simple tips:
- Pay fairly: Make sure girls are being paid fairly and assigned work of equal value
- Make work safe: Don't tolerate sexual harassment and assault against employees and consider how jokes or nicknames might feel particularly harmful or uncomfortable to someone in their first job
- Do your part to level the playing field: Consider how your hiring practices might unintentionally shut girls out – especially those who come from marginalized communities
- Talk to your daughter about money and pay: Summer jobs are an opportunity for your daughter to learn about the value of money and what her time and skills are worth
- Encourage her to speak up and advocate for herself with employers: If her job allows for negotiation, you can help her role play the conversation
- Empower her to jump in: Is she curious about landscaping rather than babysitting? Encourage her to try a summer job in a sector that's traditionally dominated by boys.
To read the full report, including more suggestions on how to support girls in their jobs visit www.girlguides.ca/GirlsOnTheJob.
About Girl Guides of Canada—Guides du Canada
Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) empowers every girl in Guiding to discover herself and be everything she wants to be. In Guiding, girls from 5-17 meet with girls their own age in a safe, supportive and inclusive space to explore what matters to them. Guiding is where girls take the lead, put their ideas into action and jump into a range of empowering activities – all with the support of women mentors committed to positively impacting girls' lives. With programming options ranging from exploring career options to financial literacy and discussions on feminism and gender inequality, girls in Guiding can equip themselves to thrive – now and in the future.
About the survey
The survey was commissioned by Girl Guides of Canada through Ipsos as an online poll of 1,203 girls and boys in Canada aged 12-18 between September 5 and 17, 2018. Findings are solely based on participants' experiences of work in summer 2018 – they weren't asked to reflect on all past work experiences. Participants were able to self-identify as girls or boys. Weighting was employed to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the population of girls and boys aged 12-18 according to the most recent Census data. A sample of this size yields a margin of error of ±3.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error will be larger for data that is based on sub-groups of the total sample.
Statistics Canada. (2017). Table 14-10-0023-01 Labour force characteristics by industry, annual (x 1,000).
SOURCE Girl Guides of Canada
For further information: Media Contact: Kaitlyn Saint, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-646-1843