Looking Beyond the Gender Pay Gap

March 8, 2023

gender pay gap protest

To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we delve into what other gendered inequalities lurk beneath the surface of the gender pay gap. 

The gender pay gap is one of the most obvious pieces of evidence pointing to continued forms of gendered inequality within our society. It reveals the difference in pay which women receive in comparison to men. In April 2022 in the UK, women in full time employment were paid on average 8.3% less than their male colleagues. This gap widens even further for higher earners and those aged over 40.  

However, the gender pay gap is just the tip of the iceberg, as many other aspects of girl’s and women’s financial lives are impacted by gender inequality, including pocket money, financial confidence and how they spend their money, to name just a few. 

The gendered impact on earning, financial confidence and spending 

In their recent study, Starling Bank found that boys received on average 20% more pocket money than girls. When looking further into how girls’ and boys’ pocket money was earned, the research found that girls were more likely to be given pocket money for completing their chores (12%), while boys were more likely to be rewarded for good academic performance (14%). The findings point to how gendered stereotypes and tropes continue through seemingly ‘innocent’ financial decisions. 

The gendered impacts on young people’s financial opportunities and habits don’t stop there. MyBnk’s analysis of the youth gender financial capability gap showed that 43% of young women in the UK (aged 11-25) were not financially confident, 18% less so than boys. MyBnk’s findings also showed that ‘10% more of young women suffered anxiety and depression about money than their male counterparts’. 

Gender also affects how young men and women spend their money. When auditing 450 toys, games and books, Starling Bank found that items targeted at girls were 5% more expensive than those marketed towards boys. This trend continues into adulthood, commonly referred to as the ‘pink tax’. The discrepancy in pricing depending on whether items are marketed towards boys and men or women and girls, is often most noticeable in the personal care products sector. In the UK, women’s deodorant is 10.63% more expensive than men’s, and the difference between the price of women’s and men’s facial moisturisers is a mind blowing 34.28%.   

How are we addressing this at MyPocketSkill? 

Listing the statistics paints a gloomy picture for the aim of this year’s International Women Day, that is, embracing not only gender equality, but also gender equity. 

On MyPocketSkill, we believe that young people, irrespective of their gender, should have equal access to earning, saving and financial learning opportunities. We actually have more girls signing up and completing tasks on our platform, than boys. One way that we ensure equal access and opportunity is by operating a structured and transparent pricing system. When young people join MyPocketSkill, they start on an age-dependent level (in line with national minimum wage) which establishes how much they can charge. Once they receive positive feedback and are booked and re-booked by new and existing clients, their level and price increase in line with their experience on the platform. This means that young people are rewarded fairly for their hard work. At the same time, because our levelling up system is structured, automated and transparent, we’re able to work towards eliminating the gender pay gap on our platform. 

As a site geared towards helping young people earn, save and learn about money, we also want to know what young people using MyPocketSkill think about the issues raised in this blog, and how we can move forwards to achieve a future without the ‘gender pay gap iceberg’. Below we’ve included some of their responses. 

“I'm studying a male dominant subject and am aiming to go into the same field. As a student I already feel inferior and overseen and I feel like I have to work twice as hard as my male counterparts. I worry about going into the industry and this disparity still being heavily in place" - Alice, MyPocketSkill tutor.

“I would like people to both acknowledge the problem women face, but also act to change it. I think there is a lot said when it comes to women's issues, but rarely is anything truly done about it. The Pink Tax is a perfect example, many people know and discuss this issue, but there has yet to be any reform on why feminine products cost more, sometimes for the mere fact that they are pink.” - Nadira, MyPocketSkill social media manager. 

Pati Piotrowska is a Youth Policy and Impact Research Analyst at MyPocketSkill. She holds an MSc in Gender, Peace and Security from the London School of Economics.