Here is one of the ads:
The ads seem to be annoying people more than inspiring them (at the time of writing the ad had 400 likes on Facebook and 4000 dislikes). And people are right to be annoyed for the following reasons:
1. The wage gap is a myth (see more below).
2. In a healthy society, men would earn more over a lifetime than women (on average). That's partly because women find men with resources attractive, giving men an added incentive to work for money rather than for life satisfaction or for work/life balance; partly because many men have a provider instinct and wish to work on behalf of their families; and partly because many women choose to prioritise time with their children when their children are young and so cut back hours, or choose more flexible work options.
3. It is hardly significant if married women with children earn less than their husbands over the course of a lifetime because their husband's pay goes to supporting their families anyway. It is in the interests of a woman if she has a husband with a well-paid job. In other words, the ANZ model assumes that husbands and wives are set against each other, rather than pooling resources.
4. It is destructive to set the men and women of a society against each other, to needlessly cultivate a sense of grievance in women, and an injured defensiveness in men. It is abusive for the ANZ to poison the feelings of young children in this way.
5. It is a bias in itself to believe that earnings is the true measure of a good life; i.e. that the measure of man is money. It is a fact that women report being less happy now than they were some decades ago, in spite of higher earnings.
As for the wage gap, economists have crunched the numbers and found that when hours worked in similar professions are compared, then earnings are much the same. In fact, young women are increasingly earning more money than young men:
according to a new analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group. In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more. This squares with earlier research from Queens College, New York, that had suggested that this was happening in major metropolises. But the new study suggests that the gap is bigger than previously thought, with young women in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego making 17%, 12% and 15% more than their male peers, respectively. And it also holds true even in reasonably small areas like the Raleigh-Durham region and Charlotte in North Carolina (both 14% more), and Jacksonville, Fla. (6%).
I don't bank with the ANZ, but if I did I would most certainly choose to take my business elsewhere.