November 30, 2016: Not only do women earn substantially less than men – 17.7 per cent less, on average – but new research reveals that a financial disparity between genders extends beyond the workforce into household finances.
New consumer research conducted by RateCity.com.au shows that 22.4 per cent of Australian women are in the dark about their personal finances, leaving the decisions relating to money to their partner or a family member. This compares, with just 6.6 per cent of men.
Women are also more likely to suffer from debt-related stress than men with a quarter of women surveyed admitting that debt had caused daily stress, compared with 14 per cent of men.
Laine Gordon, spokesperson at RateCity.com.au, said more needs to be done to ensure that Australian women have the same opportunities as men.
“It’s troubling to learn that not only are women earning less, but many are feeling overwhelmed by money and consequently leaving the decisions about their finances up to their partners,” she said.
“We want Australian women and men to feel equally empowered to make good decisions about their finances and take control of their money. But more needs to be done to make that a reality.
“The key to being in the best financial shape is good information. Our research shows that men spend more time per month researching and informing themselves about things like credit cards, bank accounts and superannuation than women do.
“We also know from previous studies that women are more likely to contribute a smaller amount to their savings each month and on average have a smaller super balance than men.”
Gordon urged women to take the bull by the horns when it comes to their personal finances.
“Money issues can seem overwhelming, but there is a wealth of information available online and you can access free financial counsellors for advice,” she said.
“There have been great developments in the Fintech space in recent years too, with some cool mobile apps available that help you with budgeting, saving money and keeping track of your spending.
“Today’s pay gap has serious implications for women, who typically live longer than men and are more likely to have time out of the paid workforce to care for children and elderly parents.
“This can put some women behind when it comes to being financially secure – both now and in the future.”