The gender pay gap is a well known and depressing fact. Research by the University of Canberra has found that over the course of a lifetime the average Australian woman can expect to earn approximately $1m less than the average male. Throw in a university degree and the deficit leaps to $1.5m – which is kinda sucky. It will come as no great surprise that Australia also boasts a significant (and stubborn) gender wealth gap across all age groups. A study has revealed that in 2010, single men’s wealth was on average 23% higher than single women’s wealth holdings.* The sad thing is this disparity has grown over the past ten years. With many women taking time out of the workforce to care for children things only get worse over our lifetimes and women end up retiring with 43% less super than men.**
It seems that part of the problem (according to the interwebs anyhow) is that women are still less confident with money and are not taking an interest in investing (either in property, shares of otherwise). Of course this is a generalization but its the vibe I’m getting from the interwebs. The message that women are lagging behind men in financial literacy is coming over loud and clear. Here’s a couple of snippets.
From Amanda Steinberg – CEO and Founder of Daily Worth
As women, we’ve been socialized to think we’re bad with money, or that engaging with money is somehow ‘unfeminine,’” Ms. Steinberg explained. “It’s ironic that a gender typically so concerned with health, wellness and family security would also be averse to understanding the fundamentals of investing.
Then there’s this from a report by the Australian Financial Literacy Association.
This report tells us that many women already have the budgeting and saving habits that are essential to putting yourself in charge of your money. When it comes to investing, planning for the future and retirement – all the things that allow you to take control of your money in the longer term – women are less confident in their ability.
And finally this from the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
Research by the ANZ Bank identified that women, as a social group, had lower levels of financial literacy than men. The Australian Divorce Transitions Survey similarly found that women were less knowledgeable than men about the value of their superannuation and their partner’s superannuation. Other research showed that while women were generally confident in their abilities to manage money on a day-to-day basis, and were aware of the need to provide for their retirement, they were less confident than men in their abilities to make long term investment decisions, and tended to be conservative in any investment decisions they did make.
I don’t know about you but I this stuff is making my want to do a Sir Patrick Stewart face palm. Actually make mine a double.
As dire as this sounds I am not 100% convinced that it is true. I qualify this by ashamedly admitting that over the last few years I have been lost in the haze of child rearing and have taken my eye off the money ball. Nevertheless I am a statistical sample of one – not proof of anything. I’d like to turn the question over to the blog reading public.
Do you ladies and man (Yes you – Tunnel Ed – the only male reader of this blog), believe that women are less financially competent than men? Do you have investments under your own name? Do you have equal input into the big financial decision of your household?
When it comes to managing your money, what are your greatest concerns? Is it getting rid of that pesky mortgage, saving enough for retirement, covering your kids’ education? All of the above?
How are you tackling these problems?
What would you like to learn more about?