In honour of International Women’s Day, the ANZ Bank has released a series of videos as a part of their #equalFuture campaign to draw attention to the gender pay gap in Australia.
To really showcase just how unfair the system was, ANZ bank decided it would undertake a social experiment where girl children were asked to do the same amount of work as their brothers, only to be paid less “just like the real world”. The results were very interesting.
The Social Experiment
The video shows children, both brothers and sisters, being asked to do chores around their homes. While the children work equally as hard at the same tasks, the children are not given equal amounts of money at the end of the day. Rather boys are given more, and girls given less. The video goes on to ask those girls, Australia’s daughters and the next generation of women, just how they feel about that. They were pretty vocal.
“If you do the same work, you should get paid the same money,” said another.
“What we’re trying to tell you is that it’s not fair that boys get paid more than girls,” said one, explaining the situation to her brother.
Even their brothers didn’t think it was a fair game, with one boy saying that when he grew up, he would make a change, and that other men should speak up if they see they’re being paid more for the same work.
The Hard Facts
While it’s clear that the system isn’t fair, the facts remain that in many aspects of both Australian society and global society, girls aren’t coming out on top.
Globally women earn up to 36% less than men, representing more than 40% of the labour force but controlling only 25% of the wealth. In global government, women make up just 20% of our representatives and less than 25% of senior management roles are held by women.
It isn’t much better in Australia. On average, the weekly difference in wages between women and men is $295, which over a 40-year working life leaves women about $700,000 short. Along with that, women who return to work 12 months after taking parental leave experience a 7% wage penalty, that increases to 12% over the next year. Despite this, women spend almost twice as much time on unpaid work as men in Australia, but 90% of them still retire without enough savings to live comfortably in retirement.
Making A Change
With their #equalFuture campaign, ANZ Bank hopes that more people will become aware of the gender wage gap, and that more will be done to change it so that future generations of Australian women aren’t left out in the cold. The bank is making changes in their own business model, including adding additional super contributions for female staff, paying super during their unpaid parental leave, flexible working roles, gender-balanced recruitment and programs to accelerate female leaders to senior roles. They’ve also started a number of initiatives for their customers, working towards more equality.
Hopefully, this campaign will be the first of many by large companies like ANZ Bank in the fight towards gender equality, both in Australia and across the world. As ANZ said themselves:
“In many aspects of their lives, girls start out ahead. So how do they fall so far behind? As soon as they enter the workforce, women start to earn less money than men. Put simply, the system is not designed for women to succeed. It’s time we created one that is.”