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From pay gap to parity: New report reveals how Australian women fare financially

Portrait of woman wearing scarf in laneway

Australia has come a long way in pursuit of gender equality, but there is still work to do, a new report by financial comparison Finder reveals.

Finder's new report, From pay gap to parity, reveals the gender premium still exists and shows how Australian women are faring financially compared to men in 2021.

The gender premium

  • The report revealed a "gender premium" across a range of basic goods and services, with women spending $679 more per year on average than men.
  • Income protection is the product where we saw the biggest gap, with women spending $312 more per year on average.
  • This was followed by contraception, with women spending approximately $252 more on birth control per year.
  • Other areas where gaps exist include feminine hygiene products and personal care products.

Sarah Megginson, senior editor at Finder says:

  • "Women are still bearing the brunt of 'gender premium' pricing, which sees them spending more than men on a range of products."
  • "The fact that women are earning less, yet are expected to pay more for these basic items is baffling."
  • "As a society, we're pretty well aware that women are paying more for things like contraception and personal care products – even products as basic as razors are more expensive for women, simply because they're pink and marketed in a different way."
  • "It's a great conversation to be having now with International Women's Day upon us. It would be a huge step forward to see more progress made to close this gap before IWD rolls around next year."

Gender gap on key financial indicators

  • While the personal finance gender gap is closing, inequalities still exist. In particular when it comes to savings and superannuation.
  • Women have substantially less in their savings than men, $21,398 in comparison to $36,851.
  • When it comes to super women retire with $122,848 in comparison to their male counterparts who retire with $154,453.
  • Women also experience higher levels of financial stress than men, with 76% stating they are stressed with their finances in comparison to 68% of men.

Sarah Megginson, senior editor at Finder says:

  • "The structural inequalities in society make it hard for women to retire comfortably. If you have had to take time out of work to care for children, make sure to explore ways to build up your superannuation or to invest for your financial future."
  • "You could consider making extra contributions or having your partner make extra contributions into your fund if they're the higher income earner. Any action you take now will help set you up for the future."
  • "If you're not in a position to do this, consolidating your super into one account, opting for a low-fee fund and regularly checking your account's performance can all help you maximise your retirement nest egg."

Where women are doing well

Women are more responsible with their money

  • 63% of women consider themselves to be "savers", compared to 57% of men.
  • The report also showed that men were more likely to spend JobKeeper money on things like streaming services, online subscriptions and gaming.

Women are better investors

  • Numerous studies have shown that female investors are more successful on average than male investors.
  • A number of these studies pointed to a long-term rather than speculative approach to investing as a key driver here.

Women are more credit savvy

  • Women are also less likely to have credit card debt and less likely to have been rejected for a financial product.
  • Three in five women (61%) have taken out a credit card, compared to 75% of men – and women are also less likely to be behind on their payments

Sarah Megginson, senior editor at Finder says:

  • "Broadly women are really good investors but we just don't do it enough."
  • "Traditionally investing has felt quite inaccessible for women but it doesn't need to."
  • "Investing might seem daunting at first but getting started is the hardest part."
  • "If you're unsure where to start, micro investing apps like Raiz are a great way to dip your toe into investing."
  • "Taking time to generate a passive income and build your wealth is key to long-term financial sustainability."

Please see here for the full report: From pay gap to parity, which details the financial differences between men and women in 2021.

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