This article was originally published by Advancing Women, and authored by Michelle Redfern.
The Economic Equality Pact 2030 has been developed by Financy to help women, business and government take action towards financial progress and gender equality. I have proudly signed The Pact because I am determined to contribute to creating a gender equal world where women and girls can reach their full potential. Gender Equality is defined as:
- Political empowerment,
- Education attainment,
- Health and survival, and,
- Economic participation and opportunity
Economic equal rights are a component of the UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and underpins the work that I do through Advancing Women in Business and Sport, Culturally Diverse Women and A Career that Soars!
The Facts About Economic Inequality in Australia
You may be wondering what financial inequality looks like in Australia. Sure, we know that there is a gender pay gap, but what else is going on for women? Or importantly, not happening for women’s economic security in our country.
- Employed women are almost three times more likely than men to be working part-time and earning less
- For parents whose youngest dependent child was under six, three in five employed mothers worked part-time (and earned less) compared to less than one in ten employed fathers.
- Women’s full time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings are 86% of that of men ($261 per week)
- At retirement age (60-64 years), 23% of women have no superannuation compared to 13% of men
- Across all age groups, 1 in 3 women have no superannuation compared to 1 in 4 men
- Women’s average superannuation account balances are 28.0% lower than those of men. This figure reflects the average superannuation account balances of $121,322 AUD for women and $168,474 AUD for men.
- Women retire with 42% less super than men. In real terms, if a man retires with $270,710, a woman gets just $157,050
- Women’s savings and superannuation are often not sufficient to support them in retirement.
- Women are also more likely than men to re-enter the workforce following retirement often due to financial constraints.
- Women are twice as likely as men to sell their house and move to lower cost accommodation because of tight financial circumstances in retirement.
These indicators all result in my age group (women in their 50’s) being recognised as the fastest growing cohort of homeless in Australia. Further to that, there are 400, 000 women over the age of 45 at risk of homelessness in Australia. This is a national disgrace and highlights that we must address financial equality now, for all generations of women.
What Gets Measured Gets Managed
Every quarter, the Financy Women’s Index (FWX) is published. FWX tracks seven different indicators of financial progress and economic equality for Australian women. This data is critical for policy, process and behaviour change at the system, organisational and individual level.
Here are the insights from the most recent FWX:
- The Financy Women’s Index rose 0.9% in the June quarter to 72.2 points from 71.6 points in March helped by a long-running structural improvement in corporate board diversity and a closing of the gender gap in the underemployment rate.
- Whilst the Index is down by 1% for the year to date from 72.8 points in June 2020, it is 4% above its December 2019 score.
- COVID shocks were evident by weakness in both the gender pay gap and hours worked by women relative to men.
- The total timeframe to achieving gender financial equality remains 101 years based on the worst performing FWX sub-index; unpaid work.
- The timeframes to achieving equality in the gender pay gap is 21 years, in employment is 31 years, in board diversity is 7 years, in underemployment is 16 years and in superannuation is 40 years.
What You Can Do to Create Economic Gender Equality
Information is power. Action is powerful. By becoming a signatory to the Financy Economic Equality Pact 2030, you will be demonstrating your commitment to better financial outcomes and economic security for women. You will also become more informed about what you and your organisation can do to address this glaring and shameful status quo for women in Australia, which is:
- Closing the Education gender gap
- Closing the Employment gender gap
- Closing the Superannuation gender gap
- Closing the Leadership gender gap
- Closing the Unpaid Work gender gap
- Closing the Gender pay gap
So, please join me as a proud, determined advocate for the rights of women to reach their full economic potential and to achieve economic gender equality in Australia, in my lifetime.
Everything I do is grounded in my personal mission and purpose to contribute to creating a gender-equal world in both sport and business. I want my son and daughter, my nieces and nephews to inhabit a world where women and girls are valued and respected and equal. I want them to inhabit a world where men and boys can rid themselves of the shackles of toxic masculinity. I want them to live in a world where every human, no matter how they identify, can reach their full potential.
About Michelle Redfern
Michelle is the founder of Advancing Women, an enterprise providing research and advisory services on equality, inclusion and gender diversity. She is also the founder professional women’s network Women Who Get It, co-founder of social enterprise CDW (Culturally Diverse Women and Workforces) and co-founder and co-host of A Career that Soars! Michelle is determined to contribute to achieving global gender equality in her life time, especially through her research and advocacy in the sporting industry.
Michelle is a Non-executive director for Williamstown Football Club, an Ambassador for Honour a Woman, Respect Victoria and Flexible Working Day. She has held executive leadership roles ASX & FTSE listed companies NAB, Telstra and Serco during her 30-year career.
Michelle was named City of Melbourne B3000 Female Entrepreneur of the Year (2019), is a proud recipient of the AFR 100 Women of Influence Award (2018).
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.
To learn more about joining Femeconomy, hit the big red button below: