Women’s Financial Empowerment podcast series

We take a deep dive into practical ways women can build their financial wellbeing and score some big financial goals.

Episode 1. Introducing Women’s Financial Empowerment

We discuss why women need to look after their financial wellbeing, the gender pay gap problem, and the fact women retire with an average of $136,000 less in their super. The good news is that any of us can get our finances in shape – and we’re about to show you how.

Read the transcript

00:00:00:00 - 00:00:27:12

This podcast is for education and entertainment purposes. It's not financial advice and doesn't take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if the information in this podcast is appropriate for you and contact a professional financial adviser. If you are seeking financial advice. Hi, I'm Nicole Banks from Teachers Mutual Bank, and I'd like to welcome you all to the Women's Financial Empowerment Podcast series.

00:00:27:15 - 00:00:55:10

As you may already know, when Teachers Mutual Bank was founded 55 years ago, it was created by teachers, for teachers and for their families. What we've since grown into one of Australia's largest mutual banks. We're still passionate about our original course. And with more than 70% of people working in Australia's schools being women, we're really keen to look at practical ways women can build their financial wellbeing and score some big financial goals.

00:00:55:16 - 00:01:18:03

That's why we are excited to launch the podcast series on women's financial empowerment. In the coming episodes, we'll be discussing some of the challenges women face when it comes to money and ways to plan and compensate for those challenges. But before we get started, we'd like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.

00:01:18:05 - 00:01:44:02

We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. With me in the studio today is my guest, one of my favorites. Our financial wellbeing coach Betsy Westcott. I'm sure some of our listeners will be familiar with Betsy from our bit of money management and Bringing It Home podcast, which can be found on the Teachers Mutual bank website and Spotify.

00:01:44:03 - 00:02:10:04

But for those new to our podcast. Betsy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hello. Of course I can. Well, I think I should start with the fact that my greatest wish is that every Australian enjoyed financial well-being. I genuinely believe the better skills, knowledge and awareness that we have about money, the better choices we make with our financial resources, and that enables us to live a happy and independent life.

00:02:10:06 - 00:02:35:10

By way of background, I'm qualified as a financial adviser, a mortgage broker, and a certified money coach, and this has sort of led me throughout my career to work in retail banks, work in private banks, looking after wealthy families and individuals. And then I've spent some time building brand new banks and financial wellness apps before finally arriving as a financial wellness coach, which is the work that brings me the most joy.

00:02:35:13 - 00:02:55:28

But like I said, throughout that time and all those experiences, what I've learned is that if we have the right mindset and the right skills, we can create so much financial freedom for ourselves. And the power and the control is really ours. And I love that. I love your passion and your your history and your background in these spaces.

00:02:55:28 - 00:03:14:12

Incredibly impressive. In today's episode, we'll be talking about why women need to look after their financial wellbeing. And during the rest of this series, Betsy and I will be outlining what women can do to put themselves in a better financial position. So let's talk about some of the episodes will be chatting about everyday money management. A really interesting one.

00:03:14:13 - 00:03:34:22

Money in relationships, which I think is a difficult topic for a lot of women. So we'll talk about what you need to talk about with your partner at the start of a relationship and the steps to take when that relationship may suddenly end. We'll also talk about aspects of family finance, the financial impact of taking time out of the workforce to be a carer.

00:03:34:22 - 00:03:58:20

And I think that's one that is often uniquely from a female perspective. And of course, saving for retirement and women and investing. So really interesting topics. I think a lot of what we'll cover is information that can be used by absolutely anyone of any gender to get their financial services in shape. So this isn't just about women, but it is for women.

00:03:58:22 - 00:04:25:03

There are some issues that just seem to make it a bit harder for women to get ahead financially. Betsy Yeah. I really am interested in talking to you about what those issues are. When we come back after this break, I'm back with financial Wellbeing coach Betsy Wescott. Now we're going to take a big picture look at some of the things that are affecting the financial state of Australia's women.

00:04:25:06 - 00:04:52:10

Yes. And the big issues, too. There really are more hurdles that women have to overcome if they want to achieve financial well-being. So let's let's start with the money one, the income one. Women, on average still earn significantly less than men. It's a sad and stark reality. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the gender wage gap for full time ordinary wages is around 13% as of May 20, 23.

00:04:52:12 - 00:05:17:16

And at the current rate of improvement, it's estimated it could still take 24 years for us to close that gap. It's like a life sentence. It's hard to believe that we're still at a day and age where that's a challenge, but it is clearly still a big issue for so many women. Yeah, and one that we we can't take our foot off the accelerator on in terms of advocating for that change and that that equality to come through.

00:05:17:18 - 00:05:47:10

There's also a bias in our society that values traditionally male work above the work that women do. And even within many occupations, women are still paid less than men, which is compounding this gender wage gap issue. Research by the Center of the Future of Work at the Australian Institute found that in 80 occupations in which men make up 80% or more of the workforce, including medical specialists and engineering, those occupations had on average salaries above 100,000.

00:05:47:10 - 00:06:18:01

So for those male dominated industries, most of them were earning above 100 K a year. In contrast, no occupation where women make up the share of the workforce, had salaries above 100,000 while that is crazy, isn't really disappointing actually, given the effort and time that women spend taking care of people in these professions. Yeah. And the value I mean, I don't know about you, but I think health care and access to good quality education are pretty valuable skills and contributions.

00:06:18:01 - 00:06:46:05

So it astounds me that that we still have such challenges in remunerated that that work appropriately. KPMG analysis of the education and training sector found that although women made up the majority of employees, they were under-represented among higher paid management staff. That meant women and on average 6.33 less an hour or 13.8% less than men in this sector in 2020.

00:06:4:;13 - 00:07:13:01

Well, that's an eye opener and that's even before we factor in the fact that women are likely to do the bulk of the caring responsibilities within the family. That has a big effect on finances too. Yeah, because it's unpaid work and often, again, undervalued by society. So women tend to take on caring responsibilities in the family. They're more likely than men as a result to do part time or take on casual work to balance out these responsibilities.

00:07:13:03 - 00:07:37:14

As a result, the earning less than many full time workers, they may not be considered also for better paid or more senior roles, or feel that they can't apply for them because of their part time casual working status. Women are also more likely to be looking after families on their own. Among Australia's 1.1 million sole parent families, one in seven families in total, 80% of them are headed up by single mothers.

00:07:37:20 - 00:08:03:28

Now, these factors, combined with taking breaks from paid work for caring responsibilities, often also means that women miss out on employer contributions to super as well. They're earning less, but they're also working less. And that means there's less money going into the super fund contributing to those retirement savings. And so as a result, women between 60 and 64 have about 23% less in superannuation savings than men.

00;08;04;01 - 00;08;27;18

So they retiring with less money. And these figures are, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds in Australia. So research at the Australian Institute Minutes is going to convert that that figure into some hard code dollars. Estimate that women earning the median wage would retire with on average about $136,000 less in their super than a man on a median wage.

00:08:27:20 - 00:08:47:04

And that's a lot of money. It probably doesn't sound like a huge amount, but that's quite a few years of income in retirement and it really affects the quality of your retirement. And the other factor that that comes in here is the fact that we as women tend to live longer so we've got less money that we need to stretch out further, making it more challenging.

00:08:47:06 - 00:09:09:08

I'm not liking these statistics at all. I know they're a little bit depressing. They are a little bit. The good news is, is that we can overcome them, but we just kind of need to acknowledge them and they're there and they're real. And so my final point is, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, 16.3% of women have experienced economic abuse from a partner.

00:09:09:10 - 00:09:30:26

This is a part of a broader pattern of controlling behavior, often called coercive control. It's common that these women are excluded from either financial making decisions or potentially they have limited access to information about an individual household money. They also may be forced to take out loans or use things like buy now, pay later services to benefit their abuser.

00:09:30:27 - 00:09:55:09

And this is called financial abuse. So what I will say is, please note, if you are struggling with financial abuse or family violence right now, or if you need urgent support, please make sure, first of all, you're safe. And then contact one of the following for Australian listeners. If you're in danger, please call 000. Otherwise you can call one 800 respect on one 870 37732.

00:09:55:11 - 00:10:28:26

There's also Lifeline and their number is 13 1114. And finally, the family relationship advice line, which is one 800 050321. So yes, we acknowledge that these are slightly depressing stats. And when you add up all these financial hurdles that women can face, it really can put a dent on a woman's financial worth across our lifetime. And this is why it's even more important for women to gain the skills and have a plan that puts them on a firmer financial footing to achieve their financial goals.

00:10:29:03 - 00:10:52:15

And I think that's what this podcast series is all about, right? Because I think it's a real opportunity to learn about these things firstly and put them out in in, in the greater community. But I think anyone can invest. Anyone can look at their retirement savings and make a plan for it. What's probably holding a lot of people back is simply just a lack of basic financial knowledge.

00:10:52:17 - 00:11:13:09

Yes. And that's why we're here today. Because once a woman builds that financial capability and develops those skill sets, it's so much easier to take charge of your finances and go after those long term goals no matter what they are. And I personally, I like to reframe it to financial wellbeing. And practicing financial wellbeing is a form of self-care.

00:11:13:16 - 00:11:34:27

So just like you look after your skin, your your health and fitness, look after your finances too, and it'll really pay dividends in your future. I love that. I love that term. It's a practice. It is self-care practice. That's a really nice way of thinking about what is becoming a really critical skill for for everyone and importantly, women.

00:11:35:03 - 00:11:58:17

So we'll be laying down some foundations in the next episode with a discussion around everyday money management. We'll be looking at savings, budgeting and superannuation with a strong focus on women's issues. I do think it's probably our time for this episode though, Betsy, so thank you so much for explaining some of the issues that Australian women are facing financially.

00:11:58:17 - 00:12:18:22

I think it's a it's an eye opening exercise just to hear the stats and I'm really looking forward to the next episode. Me too. We'll see you then, Nicole. Thanks, Betsy, and thank you for joining us, too. We hope you'll tune in to episode two when between I get stuck into that nitty gritty of everyday finances and how we can make them work for you every day.

00:12:18:22 - 00:12:45:14

Money management really is the first step to getting your finances in better shape. We'll be looking at how to make a personal budget, how to get your savings goals set for now and for the future, and how you're going to achieve them. Thank you so much for joining us for our Women's Financial Empowerment Podcast series. I'm Nicole Banks, and I'll catch you next time.



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