Gender Equality in Pocket Money
“One day I realised that for the same work the boys were getting more! That was a shock!” This is the experience that Dr. Mara Harvey describes in her children’s book “A SMART WAY TO START”, how she herself abruptly found herself in an unjustified gender pay gap. At that time, the now experienced and successful banker quickly realized how unfair she felt this was. Incidentally, this was the driving force, to become a gender equality advocate. And realizing that many girls experience pay gaps already in their pocket money was the initial spark for her second career as a literary mediator of financial knowledge suitable for children.
(Source of illustration: “A SMART WAY TO START”, Mara Harvey)
So it is all the more understandable that in her rhyming books it is mainly little heroines who convey the catchy “money messages” – i.e. the short messages about child-friendly financial understanding – to the young readers through thoughtful and foresighted handling of their pocket money. A particularly rewarding side effect is that mums and dads who read the great money stories aloud can change their pocket money perception to the rhythm of the verses – away from inequalities between boys and girls and towards fairness and transparency in matters of finances and their distribution.
Same work, less money: the math doesn’t add up!
Giving girls less pocket money than boys or rewarding them with less for doing the same chores involuntarily puts young children into the gender-pay gap balancing act from an early age, so to speak. Instead, it is better to aim for balance in money and balance in pay right from the start. Because gender-specific pocket money gaps eventually lead to income differences between men and women.
The fact that these unfortunately still exist is manifested, among other things, in the Gender Equality Index 2020 of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). On the one hand, this is above the EU-28 average of 80.6, but on the other hand, this score is still far from true gender equality in terms of access to financial resources, income and poverty risk – and, incidentally, almost two points behind Austria’s gender money equality score of 86.7.
In order to prevent the further consolidation of such gaps, Dr. Mara Harveys wants to start her children’s books on financial education at the age of pocket money. If the gender-specific differences in payment and rewards are already addressed here, parents will also be sensitised to them at this stage. When mum and dad read the wonderful rhyming books of the top financial manager together with their children, they can in turn reflect on how mean and unjustified it actually is that girls get between about 10 and 30 percent less pocket money. And how much this circumstance ultimately also helps to further cement the gender pay gap.
Finny makes financial education a family affair
As the first mobile banking app for children between the ages of 7 and 12, the Finny Kids App teaches all children everything they need to know about (pocket) money, step by step and level by level. The focus of this child-friendly financial education is explicitly on building up skills in saving, spending and investing – in a playful and age-appropriate way.
Girls and boys alike learn with Finny how to define and visualise savings goals and how to save pocket money digitally and physically and spend it responsibly. Challenging tasks around the topic of finances can be solved together with mum and dad and rewards for this can be “collected” exclusively by the children.
In each phase and all his four different forms and worlds, Finny is always a great guide through the exciting world of money. Thanks to the ranking list, boys and girls can compete with and against each other: Who has completed the most activities, who has reached their savings goals, who has collected the most points and who tops the leaderboard this month? A boy? A girl? In any case, a financial fox, a super saver or a clever owl.
Links worth reading:
– You can read Dr. Mara Harvey’s book “A SMART WAY TO START” here and of course order it right away.
– Here you can find an exciting feature on Dr. Mara Harvey and her children’s books.
– Have a look at the Gender Equality Index 2020 here.