This summary has been prepared by Business Chicks based on Jane Caro’s Masterclass, thanks to our friends at AustralianSuper.
According to Jane Caro, the secret to having enough money is the ability to say no to something you don’t want to participate in. Money offers women power, choice and the ability to say no, so it’s important to be taking care of your financial health from the minute you start earning. In a recent Masterclass Online presented by AustralianSuper, Jane Caro shared the alarming statistics of why money matters to women, as well as practical advice to look after yourself at every age. Thanks to AustralianSuper we’re bringing you our favourite quotes from Jane’s impactful masterclass.
Jane Caro on the financial impact of gendered workforces
“Australia has one of the most gendered workforces in the world – 60% of us work in industries that are dominated by one gender, and the men’s industries are paid more. In this recession, we’ve seen women’s industries being hit harder.”
“For centuries a man used to be a financial plan. As part of the system women earn less and were expected to be taken care of by men, Even Jane Austen had to rely on her brother when her father died! These attitudes die hard. History influences things all the time. We can see this right now with COVID – the first sector being cut out of JobKeeper is childcare workers, a workforce that is predominantly female.”
“Caring work is disproportionately on women’s shoulders. The paid caring professions are also predominantly female occupations that are lowly paid…we begrudge paying for caring work because we see it as something that should be done for free by women. It’s a fraught responsibility – the caring responsibilities (children, disability and ageing parents) – directly interfere with our ability to earn an equal income and look after ourselves as we get older”
Jane Caro on money and relationships
“Women can be demonised for caring about money, and demonised when they appear to not care about money – if they are reliant on the public purse. Women have given birth to every tax payer in the country – yet we’ve been accused of being thieves seeking support from the tax system or in the divorce court.”
“The fastest growing age for homelessness in Australia is women over 55, and the leading factor for this is domestic violence. Every woman living out of her car, or terrified of living out of her car, is a testament to the fact that the blokes don’t think about us when they make policy. They just don’t. We cannot afford to leave our financial future to men. Its your job to support yourself through your whole life – including when you don’t have a job. Owning a roof is the most effective tax investment in Australia. If you own a roof you can exist on very small income.”
“Do not partner with someone who undermines you. The best financial advice anyone can give you – work on your relationship. Two can live as one, and on average women never recover from divorce whereas it takes men on average 5 years. Share the caring work and the paying work.”
“We need to be loud, brave, bold and uncompromising about our right to financial security throughout our life, our right to leave a relationship. These things need to be taken seriously. “
Jane Caro on fighting for your financial security
“We have to fight for our rights and entitlements. We’re under the impression that if we just point out how unfair it is, we’ll get it. But we have to fight for our rights and entitlements. We have to point out vigorously…We need to be thinking about our vulnerability when we’re old. We need to be accumulating wealth. We need to be agitating when we’re being treated unfairly.”
“Don’t assume hard work or merit will see you safely through. Personal responsibility doesn’t work if there are systematic barriers put in your way. There are systemic barriers in the way of people of colour, people with a disability, trans people, women…the list goes on.”
“Vote for women who support women’s rights. When we have male dominated governments, women come off second best. We must have women in the room when decisions are being made.”
“Always be aware of where your super is at. Make sure it’s growing. Know your financial position the whole way through your life. Know if you are looking vulnerable so you can nip it in the bud”
Jane Caro’s aspirations for systematic change
- Provide super to the women leaving the workforce to care for vulnerable people in the community (children, elderly and disabled). To expect women to do it out of the goodness of their heart, and then expect them to take a hit on super, is outrageous.
- Free universal childcare, the way we offer schooling for children. All evidence shows that children who go to early education perform better in school. We have some of the most expensive early education in the world, and we keep wondering why our education is slipping.
- Equal pay for equal work.
- Remove the tax disincentives for women to return to the workforce. 75% of women will have children, and most women will take on the lions share of taking care of them
As Australia’s largest super fund, and with a history of strong long-term performance, AustralianSuper is committed to helping members achieve their best possible retirement outcome. AustralianSuper can help you with small, simple steps that could make a big difference to your financial future and set you up for the retirement that’s right for you.
The views expressed in this article are those of Business Chicks’ guest presenter, Jane Caro, as at the date of publication, and not AustralianSuper. The article provides general information and should not be considered as financial product advice. Please seek professional advice that is appropriate to your own business and personal circumstance.