Financial Inequality & the Pink Tax

With International Women’s Day approaching and this week’s release of the gender pay gap data it is important to initiate conversations and recognise the financial playing field is not level for men and women.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) report released on 27 Feb 2024, women in Australia earn, on average, 19% less than men in total renumeration. This translates to $18,461 per year lower income for women and is even higher in certain industries.

Additionally, there exists a wealth gap, where women upon retirement have $136,000 less in superannuation compared to men.

An ANZ report identified that employment, household living arrangements and looking after dependents has a greater impact on women’s financial wellbeing than men’s.

Furthermore, women exhibit less confidence in making informed financial decisions, due to their perceived lower knowledge of financial products and associated risks.

Don’t get me started on the “pink tax” where women often pay up to 30% more for personal care items such as razors, shampoos, deodorants, and other products marketed specifically to women. Also, women spend over $1,000 per year on sanitary items and other beauty products (makeup and hair etc) to conform to society norms regarding appearance.

Without dwelling on the problem too much, let explore some potential solutions.

Here are some of my ideas to create an inclusive economic landscape:

  • Recognize and value the work traditionally performed by women in low-paid caring careers such as childcare, nursing, and teaching.
  • Encourage corporations to reform their working structures and remuneration policies to reward work output rather than traditional full-time office hours and overtime.
  • Payment of superannuation benefits during parental leave to ensure women do not lose out on retirement savings.
  •  Share the burden of unpaid domestic work between men and women within the home.
  • Increase financial literacy for women to empower them to make informed decisions and build their wealth effectively.
  • Utilize methods for women as part of a couple, who have lower incomes due to extra domestic duties, to equalize super contributions with their partners through spouse contributions, super splitting, and government co-contributions.

By addressing these disparities proactively and advocating for meaningful change, we can pave the way towards a more inclusive economic landscape and equitable future for all individuals regardless of gender.

Family ConversationHave money conversations this holiday season