Press for progress: International Women’s Day 2018

The recent International Women’s Day celebrated the achievements of women and looked at the progress that’s been made towards gender equality.

On March 8, women all around the world celebrated International Women’s Day. The social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women were recognised, and the progress we’ve made as a society towards gender equality.

It’s also a day that acknowledged the work that’s still to be done.

This year’s theme – Press for Progress – seeks to continue the momentum gender equality gained in 2017, when campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp hit the headlines to demonstrate the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment against women, and call for an end to this behaviour.

How does Australia stack up?

The latest Global Gender Gap report shows Australia is ranked in 35th position out of 144 countries when it comes to gender equality, while our near neighbour, New Zealand, ranks ninth1.

Australia has improved from 46th position last year2, showing progress is being made, with the report pointing to an improvement in our economic participation and opportunity ranking, and our political empowerment ranking. It found that women now comprise a greater share of our legislators, senior officials and managers, as well as parliamentarians and government ministers3.

Our educational attainment gender gap is fully closed4, and, in fact, more women than men attain a bachelor degree in Australia5.

More room for improvement in the workforce

The latest Gender Indicators data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also revealed the following6.

  • There are fewer women in the workforce than men, and women are more likely to be in part-time or casual employment, and are more likely to be under-employed.
  • Women earn less overall and female graduates earn less than male graduates, with median starting salaries of $56,000 and $60,000 respectively. By contrast, Iceland, - which topped the Global Gender Gap report for the ninth year running – recently became the first country to make equal pay a legal requirement, with Icelandic businesses of 25 or more employees required to prove they are paying male and female staff equally7.
  • Women aged 55-64 have less super than men the same age - an average of $196,409 compared with $310,145.

How to help your female employees close the super gap

Women have less super than men across all age groups8, but you can encourage your female employees to take some steps to tackle the retirement gap and improve their future financial security.

  • Firstly, recommend they check their current super balance and how their balance compares to others their age.
  • Let them know they can search for lost super they may have forgotten about from previous jobs.
  • If they have multiple super funds, they could consider consolidating their super into one account to reduce the amount they pay in fees.
  • If they can afford to add more to their super, they can do this tax effectively by salary sacrificing. Salary sacrificing even a small amount each week can make a big difference to their retirement savings. 
  • Employees can now make a personal tax-deductible contribution to their super which offers similar tax benefits as salary sacrificing.
  • Make them aware that if they earn below $40,000, their partner may be able to make a contribution to their super fund and receive a tax offset when they prepare their next tax return.

For more information

Our Financial Wellness Program can help you educate your employees on topics like super, debt and cashflow to close their retirement gap. Contact your AMP Account Manager or your adviser to discuss how your employees could benefit from our financial wellness tools and education.

1 World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2017, pg. 10.

2 World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2016.

3,4 World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2017, pg. 16.

5,6 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Gender Indicators Australia, September 2017.

7 Iceland, Ministry of Welfare, 2018.

8 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Gender Indicators Australia, September 2017.

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