More women fight back against financial inequality

With gender pay gap, "divorce tax," and superannuation gap as motivations

More women fight back against financial inequality

An increasing number of women have become motivated to fight back financial inequality and prioritise their financial independence and futures, as statistics continue to show they are winding up with inferior outcomes throughout their working lives and into retirement, due to a stagnant gender pay gap, a newly identified “divorce tax,” and gender superannuation imbalances.

Karen Lacheta-Pell (pictured above left), Propell property partnerships director and leading lady of InvestHER, said the renewed focus on female financial inequality over recent years had inspired her to help as many women as possible.

“There continues to be more information being released that highlights the fact that women are perpetually being left behind, not only in their overall financial outcomes, but also when it comes to property ownership – especially after separation or divorce,” Lacheta-Pell said. “It is a goal of mine to help as many women as possible become – and stay – property owners throughout the many ups and downs that we all experience during our lifetimes.”

A recent Victorian parliamentary inquiry found that just around 34% of women who separate manage to own a home within five years and only 44% do so within 10 years, mainly because of stamp duty. Divorced women were also three times more likely to rent at age 65 than married women, the inquiry found.

Nicola McDougall (pictured above center), Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) chair and co-author of The Female Investor – Creating Wealth, Security, & Freedom Through Property, said news regarding gender pay and superannuation gaps was starting to hit home for women of all ages.

“When we released our book last year, we did get push back from some people who questioned why it was written specifically for women, which was annoying, but alas, not surprising,” McDougall said.

“The reasons we wrote the book for women was because of the lack of female voices and authors in the property investment space, but also because only 27% of women identify as investors – and now we have learned that if a woman gets divorce, she has less than 50/50 chance of continuing to be a homeowner – which is appalling.”

Antonia Mercorella (pictured above right), Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO, who will speak at a special InvestHer event in Brisbane next month with McDougall, said gender pay figures hid the stark reality of poorer financial results for women throughout their lives.

“According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Australia’s national gender pay gap is 13.3% – similar to what it was three years ago,” Mercorella said. 

“To put this into perspective, women are earning on average about $253.50 less per week than men, which over the course of a year adds up to about $13,000.

“Over a decade, the gender pay gap may mean that women are more than $131,000 worse off than men financially with that figure rising to more than a quarter a million dollars over 20 years.”

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