The Ipsos survey asked 1,203 Canadians aged 12 to 18 via an online poll about their summer work in 2018. The results are published in a report by Girl Guides called “Girls on the job: Realities in Canada.” (andjohan/Flickr)

Summer gigs: Canadian girls typically earn less than boys, survey suggests

Survey suggests young females on average earn roughly 30 per cent less

Canadian girls and boys are about equally as likely to have summer jobs but young females on average earn roughly 30 per cent less than their male counterparts, a recent survey suggests.

In line with the adult workforce, the poll for Girl Guides of Canada also finds girls clustered in lower-paid “pink ghetto” jobs — for example babysitting, compared with yard work.

The Ipsos survey asked 1,203 Canadians aged 12 to 18 via an online poll about their summer work in 2018. The results are published in a report by Girl Guides called “Girls on the job: Realities in Canada.”

About 35 per cent of girls surveyed said they had a full- or part-time summer job — and almost as many worked in an informal setting for family, friends, or neighbours.

READ MORE: BC Ferries launches summer discount promotion

When it came to full-time summer gigs, such as working in a store or office, girls surveyed reported earning about $3 an hour less than boys. The difference more than doubled to $6.31 when it came to full-time work in informal settings such as working for family, friends or neighbours.

“It looks like the gender wage gap doesn’t just affect adult women,” the report states. ”It affects girls as young as age 12.”

Statistics Canada data indicate women aged 15 and older earn on average roughly 87 cents for every dollar men earn. The gap widens further for women of colour. The Ipsos survey suggests the wage gap is felt early.

“Girls and boys have different experiences on the job and how they’re paid,” the report states.

While about 11 per cent of boys surveyed reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or assault during their 2018 summer work, females appeared to be worse off. About 13 per cent of girls polled said they experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault at work, rising to 19 per cent among older teens and 23 per cent for girls from lower-income families.

“This fact shows how important it is to consider that girls from marginalized communities are often more vulnerable to gender-based violence,” the report states. “For older girls, while they may be seen as near-adults, they’re still young and many are navigating the workforce and new social dynamics for the first time.”

On the more positive side, about 45 per cent of girls surveyed said they were very satisfied with their pay, more than half said they gained skills to help in a future career, and 17 per cent said they met a mentor at work.

According to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Jill Zelmanovits, CEO of Girl Guides of Canada, said the survey was the first study of its kind in Canada. What’s not clear is why the gender disparity it points to exists at such a young age, she said in an interview on Wednesday.

“What we do know is that it does mirror what we see in the work force for women later,” Zelmanovits said. “(It) does lead one to possibly consider that it is a conditioning that then carries through for girls into their careers as women.”

The report offers advice for employers: Scrutinize hiring practices to avoid bias, pay fairly and ensure the workplace is free of sexual harassment. Parents are urged to talk daughters about money and pay, encourage their girls to speak up at work, and support non-traditional choices.

It also urges girls to see their time as a valuable resource, to get comfortable talking about pay, and to know they have a right to feel safe at work.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Hundreds demonstrate in Abbotsford for end to racism

Protest in city’s historic downtown was largest demonstration in recent memory

Mission School District’s 2020 graduation ceremony plans now in place

June grad for École Mission Senior Secondary, Fraserview Learning Centre, Riverside College

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

VIDEO: Homeless person struck by freight train in Abbotsford

Victim required airlift to hospital, Maclure Road shut down for hours

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

Most Read