Earlier this year the gender pay gap in Australia reached a record high of 18.8%. Because of this, women are disproportionately affected by poverty and are more likely to retire into poverty. Economic Empowerment was appropriately the focus of our most recent event on Thursday evening.
The evening got off to an uplifting start with MC, Andrea Burns, putting everyone into a positive mood. 100 Women’s chair and co-founder, Alicia Curtis, kept this momentum going with her passion about 100 Women and our achievements to date. Alicia introduced Jayde Robinson-Clancey, Project Officer with Zonta House Refuge, to talk about how the $40,000 they received from our 2014 grants round has made an impact in the lives of the women they support. Jayde spoke about how economic dependence is a major factor in women not being able to leave, or why they return to, an abusive relationship. Zonta House’s Positive Pathways Program is helping women gain the confidence and skills they need to live independent, fulfilling lives.
Our keynote speaker, Sharon Warburton, spoke next. Coinciding with the date of Doc and Marty McFly’s arrival into the future, Sharon made reference to a number of predictions the film got right, such as fingerprint identification and 3D movies, and noted that if the movie also mentioned gender pay equality that maybe this event wouldn’t have occurred. But in some ways, we were happy it did because Sharon spoke with such passion, confidence and humour, briefly pausing to speak about a personal tragedy, that no doubt left everyone in the room immediately empowered and inspired to become trailblazers. Sharon’s 4 key messages were:
INSPIRE – find someone inspiring to be a mentor, or become a mentor yourself, because you can’t be what you can’t see;
SUPPORT – support women as they are more likely to develop quicker, faster and stronger;
INVEST in women who may be doing it tough as they are most in need of help; and
PLAN for your financial future: a man is not a financial plan!
Lastly, 100 Women’s own Treasurer and founder of Consulting for Financial Empowerment, Grace Mugabe, brilliantly interviewed Steve Macdonald, Managing Director of Infinitas. Whilst we don’t like to generalise, as investors, research tends to show that women are more conservative than men because they tend to use money not only to support them but also their family. Comparatively, men tend to view investing like it’s a sport, there’s competition with winners and losers.
Steve spoke about an unconscious bias that sometimes occurs when women see financial advisors and advised it’s best to shop around for one that talks to you (and not just your partner) about your finances.
Steve also spoke about the value of women on boards and boards that have diversity tend to perform better. He said investment is a vote in a world that you want and if you like money, invest in diversity because the current data reveals they will have the biggest returns.
The evening was poignantly closed with a statement from Grace who said that from the 27th October to the end of this year women are essentially working for free, showing the extent of the current gender pay gap.
If you attended on the night or have just finished reading this summary of it and anything that was said has ignited any action in you, now is the time to join and empower yourself and other women to be financially independent. Click here to become a member or to find out more about mini-circles click here. All memberships, new and renewing, made before the end of October will get the chance to access these great bonus offers:
BONUS 1: Complimentary Steel Heels Membership!
All current, new and renewing 100 Women members will receive career support and mentoring from Sharon Warburton’s Steel Heels mentoring initiative for 3 months.
BONUS 2: Be mentored by a philanthropist!
Members will go into a draw to receive a one hour mentoring session with one of local great leaders and philanthropists including Deanne Weir, David Flanagan, Erica Smyth, John Barrington, Rabia Siddique, and Maria Saraceni.
Amethyst Duggan, Advisory Committee and Membership & Events Sub-Committee member.