It seems that parents may be contributing to the wage gap between the sexes without even realizing it. If you're a parent who rewards your children with cold hard cash for doing chores around the house, you may want to take a closer look at how you're paying your children, especially if you have boys and girls.
In a new study by BusyKids, a mobile app and web platform that allows parents to assign monetary values to chores so kids can earn and track their allowance, it shows that parents are paying boys more than girls for chores done around the house. Not only are boys averaging more earnings than girls, but the average weekly earning for boys is more than double what girls are making, proving that parents may be inadvertently perpetuating the idea that boys are worth more than girls in the workforce.
The study analyzed 10,000 families who downloaded and used the app, and the results are definitely eye opening. Boys earned on average $13.80 per week while girls earned just $6.71.
“It was interesting and shocking to see how much of a difference in pay there was between boys and girls in our network,” BusyKid CEO Gregg Murset commented. “As a father of both boys and girls I think this is an important wakeup call for parents to be cognizant of what they are paying to make sure they are being as fair as possible. I don’t think any parent would intentionally pay differently based on gender, but clearly, it’s happening.”
The study also showed that boys earned more in bonuses and saved more, but girls shared more of their allowance with charities. Boys also spent more of their allowances than girls did.
Murset suggested that the reason for the discrepancy could be due to the types of chores that boys and girls are doing.
“We found a lot of the boys were given more strenuous jobs like mowing the lawn, washing the car and trimming the bushes,” he said. “They often get those jobs that are outdoors and more strenuous. And the more strenuous the job the more they get paid for it.”
This is a good learning experience for parents who are conditioned to thinking that mowing the lawn is worth more than cleaning a bathroom or emptying a dishwasher. We are conditioned to assuming that these chores are more labor intensive, but are they really?
BusyKids is an app parents can download at a cost of $14.95 per year per family. Parents can add their children and assign chores that each have a monetary value. Kids can then choose what chores they want to do and also use the money earned to purchase items such as gift cards, etc. This study shows that parents can do more to ensure their children know that equal work deserves equal pay.
“These findings can also be a great conversation starter for parents who might be looking for an opening on how to discuss the financial world with their kids. There is plenty in the news recently about fair pay and opportunity for women so maybe what we discovered will help parents bridge into a topic that is relevant but rarely covered in school (or at home) – personal finance,” Murset said.