Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women, Bronnie Taylor, has launched a comprehensive online financial website that aims to assist women with a range of financial tasks to support their economic wellbeing. The online toolkit will include information and advice on starting a new job, starting a business, managing credit card debt, having a baby, saving for a house, planning for retirement, financial hardship, and other financial matters.
The one-stop-shop, called the Women’s Financial Wellbeing Toolkit, will be available 24/7 for women to access free, confidential and reliable information to help improve their financial literacy.
The toolkit will help women save time and frustration by providing up-to-date information on money and finance matters for women across all ages, circumstances or life stages.
“We are living in incredibly challenging times, with many women facing economic uncertainty and insecurity,” Minister Taylor said. “Knowledge is power and I want to make sure all women across NSW have the resources to improve their financial wellbeing, whatever their personal circumstances.”
The toolkit was the result of a combined effort from two state organisations: Women NSW and the Minister for Women’s Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity (CWEO). It will link women to information on ways to manage their daily expenses, from setting up and managing a small own business to dealing with unexpected emergencies, as well as advice on securing their financial future.
Taleen Shamlian, CWEO member and Managing Director of Advisory Street, said in a statement that women’s access to credible information is vital for protecting their financial security.
“We hope women will find the Toolkit really useful and share it with their friends because we all wish to be economically empowered,” Shamlian said.
In May, journalist and financial educator Bianca Hartge-Hazelman reported on the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on female employment.
“Australian women are bearing the brunt of the initial economic impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as job cuts start to mount,” Hartge-Hazelman wrote. “Women have also been more impacted than men by job losses and pay cuts as the Coronavirus shutdown impacts.”
“With the COVID-19 impact driving expectations that female employment will worsen and exacerbate gender gaps in pay, superannuation and in unpaid work, the pace of women’s financial progress could slow further in the forthcoming quarters and lengthen the timeframe for financial equality in Australia.
Last month, RMIT Associate Professor Banita Bissoondoyal-Bheenick expressed concerns over policy implications of early access to superannuation during the pandemic, believing that they may significantly widen the super gender gap.
“The policy is likely to have implications for the retirement balance of those who choose to access their super early, but more so for women,” she said. “The higher rate of job losses by women, coupled with early withdrawal of super, could leave many women’s long-term super balance at a bare minimum or simply being eroded completely.”
Bronnie Taylor hopes the new toolkit will ensure the women of NSW have support and information to manage and secure their financial wellbeing.