How many women have you heard utter the phrase: ‘I’m bad with money’? Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself. As Australia’s first ever super fund dedicated to building the financial power of women, we say enough is enough. It’s time to dismantle the belief that ‘women are bad with money’, and take a closer look at what is really going on when it comes to the financial inequality of women in this country.
For anyone who’s seen The Big Short, Wolf of Wall Street or Capitalism: A Love Story, you’d be forgiven for thinking that some people are indeed ‘bad’ with money, but those people aren’t women. Yet, for some reason, we have had countless conversations since launching Verve, where women have confided in us that they have “no idea about all things financial” or that they’re “terrible with money”.
We’ll tell you why: sexism. That damn six letter word results in very real, and measurable, financial disparities in this country and every country across the world. Let’s unpack it a little further…
And the outcome of all of this?
As you can see, women are more educated, being paid less money, have higher expenses, and are living longer. We are systematically underpaid and undervalued from the moment we receive pocket money until we retire, and beyond. The odds are stacked against us, and it’s far more than us simply being ‘bad with money’.
There are plenty of things that we can do as individuals, as a society, and as a Verve community to fight for women’s financial equality and wellbeing. For starters, you can banish the phrase: ‘I’m bad with money’ from your lexicon. You can build your financial literacy and confidence through an online course (such as Verve Academy’s Money & Mindset program), and you can get on top of your super and track how you’re going for retirement with these Money Smart calculators and resources like this from ASIC’s Money Smart website.
As a society, we need to be advocating for pay equity, recognition, and rights for all women*, even if their situation is different from our own. That means demanding universal child care for single mothers. Demanding for flexibility in your workplace. Demanding equal pay for women of colour and Indigenous women. Demanding employment rights and access to opportunities for women with disabilities. Fighting for superannuation for women on low incomes. Demanding additional support for non-binary folx or women in queer relationships, where the super gap is compounded.
As poet and feminist Audre Lorde says, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
And, lastly, as part of the growing Verve community – we need to continue flexing our super power. Did you know that Australian women will have $1.5 trillion in super by 2025? We need to use it to invest in the kind of world we want to live in. The kind of world that pays women what they’re worth. The kind that advocates for all women. The kind that does not invest in armaments, fossil fuels, live animal exports and offshore detention.
Let’s be the generation of women who believe that we are ‘good’ with money; who don’t internalise the sexist stereotypes that money is not ‘women’s business’; and who are confident in flexing their money muscles.
In other words… let’s be B.A.D – Badasses at Amassing Dollars 😉
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