Sarah Yip with son Sabre Fazel (6) doing chores at home. Picture: Peter Wallis
Sarah Yip with son Sabre Fazel (6) doing chores at home. Picture: Peter Wallis

How boys’ chores can boost women’s wages

PARENTS should make boys do more housework to help women earn higher wages, a government agency says.

Housework and motherhood cut into women's wages as much as gender discrimination, a new report by the federal government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) and Diversity Council Australia shows.

The KPMG report shows that industry "segregation" - where more women work in lower-paid industries such as education and social services - accounts for just 17 per cent of the wage gap between men and women.

The "motherhood penalty'' of caring duties, housework and time out of the workforce accounts for 39 per cent of the pay gap - the same as discrimination against women at work.

 

 

Men on average earn 14 per cent more than women - or $2.43 an hour extra for full-time work.

WGEA director Libby Lyons said Australians should "challenge the stereotypes that are ingrained in us so that it's not just the little girls doing the dusting''.

"Little boys are earning more pocket money than little girls so we've got a stereotype where whatever a male does is worth more than a female,'' she said yesterday.

"We cannot rely solely on the actions of employers if we are going to close the gender pay gap. We must also change the outlook, the hearts and minds of all Australians.''

Diversity Council Australia chief executive Lisa Annese said it was "stressful, exhausting and unfair'' that working women still did more housework than men with jobs. "Young boys and girls should realise that taking care of the home is a shared responsibility,'' she said yesterday. "If you expect a girl to do housework, you should have the same expectation of the boys. If you're a parent of boys and girls, consider how you manage allowances and the divvying up of chores.''

Sarah Yip with son Sabre Fazel (6) doing chores at home. Picture: Peter Wallis
Sarah Yip with son Sabre Fazel (6) doing chores at home. Picture: Peter Wallis

Entrepreneur and busy Ashgrove mother-of-two Sarah Yip, 39, said she was well aware of the changing world of gender dynamics.

Ms Yip, who was recently nominated for AusMumpreneur 2019, founded KEASE - which provides training for business leaders - four years ago. "(My husband) has been the stay-at-home parent for the last five years," Ms Yip said.

She has encouraged her son Sabre Fazel to do chores since a young age. "Chores give children discipline," she said. She said more men at home would allow women to go further.

"That's exactly what has been happening in this household," she said. "As more women become business owners, we would see the reduction in the gender pay gap because we're valuing what they're doing."

The KPMG study calculates Aussie women collectively lose $186 million each week in potential income because of the time they spend caring for children and family, and on unpaid housework



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