WOW at Festival 2018 shines a light on super gender gap
Queensland’s oldest and largest super fund has put women’s financial independence on the agenda of WOW at Festival 2018, to spark discussion about a national issue affecting gender equality.
As part of the three-day celebration of the lives of women and girls across the Commonwealth of Nations, created as part of the GC2018 Commonwealth Games arts and cultural program, QSuper will raise awareness of the national super gender gap and empower women to improve their own financial future.
With women accounting for more than two-thirds of its membership, QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said the Fund was proud to partner with WOW at Festival 2018, uniting women and communities in the pursuit of improved wellbeing.
“QSuper strives to improve members’ financial wellbeing throughout their whole life, and we are particularly passionate about advocating for the financial and social wellbeing of women who make up a large proportion of our membership,” Mr Pennisi said.
“The data clearly shows that women, on average, have much lower retirement security than men. At QSuper we’re dedicated to providing Queensland women with better access to education, information and advice throughout their lives to improve their financial wellbeing,” he said.
In line with national trends, QSuper data suggests Queensland women are retiring, on average, with around a third less superannuation than men and the gap is widening.
In Brisbane, for example, the retirement gender gap in 2017 was 33 per cent, with men retiring on an average balance of $388,000 while women had an average $263,000. This gap has grown by more than five per cent in the last five years.
“The super gender gap is a national issue that belongs on the agenda of this high-profile women’s event. Awareness and education have a critical role to play in empowering women’s financial independence and we are proud to partner with WOW at Festival 2018.”
QSuper will host a financial literacy workshop Open the Envelopes as part of the Festival program.
“Open the Envelopes will offer WOW attendees the opportunity to talk to QSuper experts about one of life’s most difficult subjects — money. The workshop, designed for women but open to all Festival-goers - will provide practical tools and strategies they can use to set themselves up financially. The session will encourage women to be hands on, understand their financial situation and be empowered to make financial decisions to become financially independent,” he said.
The Fund’s partnership will also include acknowledging and celebrating the work women do every day in their communities to improve the lives of others through sponsoring WOW Bites a series of inspiring 10-minute talks by women and girls from all walks of life. QSuper is also sponsoring the glittering closing night concert, Songs That Made Me.
WOW Executive Producer in Australia Cathy Hunt said financial independence was fundamental to women being able to have control over their lives.
“We are thrilled QSuper is coming on board as a major partner of WOW at Festival 2018,” Ms Hunt said.
“By promoting the importance of financial independence and giving women the tools and strategies to improve their own financial future, QSuper is helping us make a tangible difference to the future of women and girls. The growing numbers of women who are homeless later in life reflects a significant weakness in our superannuation system and the earlier women engage in their financial futures, the better.
“The energetic WOW program will be full of fun and laughter, but with serious reflection for women and girls, men and boys from all walks of life, ages and cultures. Finance is such a key part of equality and an important conversation to have, so we are delighted QSuper is on board.”
Minister for Women Di Farmer said the Queensland Government was proud to lead efforts to achieve true gender equality across all aspects of community life.
“That’s why we released the Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-21 which focuses on four priority areas – participation and leadership, economic security, safety and health and wellbeing,” she said.
“We know there are proven benefits for everyone when women play an equal role in the community, and in business, leadership and government.
“To make this a reality we need the support of everyone, from right across the community, and that’s why it is so important to have supporters like QSuper come on board.
“We remain committed to improving women’s economic security as this is crucial to achieving an equal society.”
HRH Duchess of Cornwall is the president of WOW globally, Quentin Bryce is the patron of WOW in Australia. The Principal Partner for the event is the Queensland Government and Major Partners are the Australian Government, Brisbane City Council, Griffith University, the Government of Canada, McCullough Robertson Lawyers, QSuper and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.
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 Based on analysis of QSuper member data, May 2017