Monday, August 10, 2020

Female financial literacy, participation needed in crisis


Written by: Cherelle Murphy

Senior Economist, ANZ

As I scroll through my personal emails, I am tantalised by “bargains”. As a 40-something woman, I am almost ashamed to say I have curated an inbox of homeware, shoe and sporting good offers.

But there was not one email inviting me to build on my investments. And I’m an economist: surely I should l have done better!?

"The ugly COVID-19 recession has particularly hurt female-dominated industries such as retail trade and accommodation.”

The one bright spot was a book distributer’s email featuring “The Joy of Money”, a guide to financial independence for Australian Women by Kate McCallum and Julia Newbould. Beyond its sunglass-clad cover girl, the authors did advise money is about security and choice. Better, I thought.

I have noticed more media about women’s financial literacy in recent times. In fact, the words “women” and “financial literacy” appeared more than double the number of times in the February to April period in 2018 and 2019 than in any year previously. 2020 was an exception - but we all know why.

What concerns me is women trail men in financial literacy, yet more are financially independent of men. There have never been more women choosing not to marry, leaving relationships or partnering in same sex relationships.

The 2016 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey showed one in two adult women struggled with basic financial literacy concepts such as inflation, compound interest and risk diversification. This compares with one in three adult men.

The University of Melbourne’s Roger Wilkins said the HILDA report shows low financial literacy is associated with poor financial wellbeing. Wilkins added women are over-represented in poverty statistics and other measures of socio-economic disadvantage and “low financial literacy cannot be ruled out as a factor in these outcomes”.

ANZ’s 2015 Survey of Adult Financial Literacy in Australia found women aged 28 to 59 years had lower scores on average than men on financial aspiration. The consequences were fewer assets, lower participation in paid work and lower levels of post-secondary education.

Women also said they found dealing with money more stressful and overwhelming than men did, according to The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) 2017 Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker.

Out of balance

Even young female economics students appear to show less interest in money than their male counterparts.

A 2020 RBA report of high school economics students asked which economic topics they were most interested in. Girls were more likely to cite ‘identifying problems’, boys were more likely to cite the ‘share market’. Women, generally, are much less likely than men to invest, with women making up only 18 per cent of 750,000 active online investors according to investment trends research from Firstlinks.

To top it off, the ugly COVID-19 recession has particularly hurt female-dominated industries such as retail trade and accommodation. Over April and May, 446,000 women lost their jobs compared with 389,000 men. The workforce participation rate fell 3.4 percentage points for women and 2.7 percentage points for men.

Women are the majority of carers of children and sick or elderly relatives and their unpaid workload has lifted. Many have had to pull out of, or back away from, the workforce resulting in under-employment or lower wages.

More women than men also work casually and therefore missed out on the initial $A1,500 fortnightly JobKeeper payment, relying instead on the lower Job Seeker payment. ANZ’s 2015 survey showed casual workers were already behind, being less financially literate than their permanent counterparts.

Changed policy has allowed those impacted by COVID-19 to defer mortgage repayments or access their superannuation, which has long-term financial implications. Superannuation balances were already inadequate for many women going into the current crisis and women are more dependent on the pension than men. This reflects persistent gender pay gaps, higher prevalence of part-time work by women, workforce breaks for caring responsibilities and longer-life spans.

Motivated by money

So here we are: in an environment where women are more financially vulnerable than men - and paying less attention to their own finances. It’s a bad combination.

The good news is the women who do invest are good at it: their behaviour is more likely to result in higher portfolio returns than men’s. Many authors on the topic suggest women’s risk aversion may also make them less prone to bad investment decisions. They are more likely to spend time researching and matching their investments to life goals. And they remain calmer than men through wild market movements.

I personally plea to women to think about their own finances. Be wary of marketing constantly aimed at getting you to depart with your cash. Think about how your good judgement and careful approach is a valuable attribute in investing.

It shouldn’t be cringe worthy for a woman to be motivated by money. Why is it crass for a woman to want to be able to look after herself, no help required? We all have the right to desire a healthy stockmarket portfolio, a wholly-owned home or an early retirement.

Carrie Bradshaw said "every once in a while, a girl has to indulge herself". My inbox reminds me of that every day. But a girl also needs to know when to tuck away a tenner and invest it for rainy day.

Cherelle Murphy is a Sennior Economist at ANZ

More women at the top means more profits for businesses — and a stronger economy for everyone

UK shareholders and the economy as a whole are missing out on an additional £47bn in pre-tax profit thanks to lack of gender diversity in the boardroom 


Written by: Margaret McDonagh

A warm-up act will normally dismiss the first polite round of applause from an audience and insist they can demonstrate more enthusiasm than that.

Many a time I’m the warm-up act on the boardroom stage. I may never manage to work the crowd into a frenzy, but at the very least I wake them from their slumber.

We did the research — in total, UK shareholders and the economy as a whole are missing out on an additional £47bn in pre-tax profit thanks to lack of gender diversity in the boardroom.

Read more: Lack of UK female bosses leads to £47bn profit gap

The evidence is clear: companies with more than 33 per cent female executives have a net profit margin more than 10 times greater than those companies with no women at this level. Isn’t that worth a cheer?

More women at the top means more profits. Sceptics suggest that this has nothing to do with women, but simply the fact that more profitable sectors tend to promote more women. But this pattern can be seen across all sectors and industries, irrespective of their profit margins.

Companies which succeed understand customer needs and have better risk management and higher collective intelligence. Research teams from Harvard, MIT, McKinsey and countless others studied these capabilities and characteristics and, in every instance, found higher scorings where women were involved in teams than when men worked alone.

It is a myth that women simply help other women. What is true is that, in the real world, women bosses get it. Female chief executives on average have ratios of 1:3 women on their executive committees, compared to male chief executives who have 1:5.

Gender is not the only metric of diversity, but it is a crucial one. And don’t forget that women make up 51 per cent of the population — so if companies want to improve diversity in other areas as well, from race to disability, increasing female representation can be part of that solution too.

You shouldn’t be surprised at this research. At the Pipeline we’ve been measuring diversity for five years now, and the results are always the same. We’ve worked with more than a thousand senior female executives and over a hundred organisations, and will continue to play our part transforming leadership in business — because without women at the top, a company is underperforming.

So the message for all business is: the evidence is there. You have a template to change for the better. Use your enthusiasm to draw on the talents of women, and you’ll be applauding yourself when your profits escalate and you have a more inclusive workplace drawing on the talents of all.

Nobody is asking companies to jump out of their seats, but female executives everywhere will happily take a sit-down ovation.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Cash is King – Practical tips to Improve Cash Flow

Cash Flow Management is a critical strategy for small business’ growth and survival. In these uncertain times, it is even more important. 

Join us with Soledad Tanner of STC Financial & Business Consulting as we identify proven tactics to help your business achieve goals in a controlled and managed plan
. • Manage Accounts Receivable, Predicting Accounts Payable and Inventory
 • Learn Concrete examples to improve your Cash Flow – 
• Strengthen your leverage with banks and suppliers 

Please references this webinar for a free 15-minute consultation! Schedule your free session! Contact or call 346-227-2895.

HOUSTON USHCC / Chambers in Houston and Georgia

Soledad Tanner, Founder & CEO- STC Consulting, representing Frances Castaneda Dyess - President of @houstoneastendchamber shares valuable insights to help small businesses through the challenges caused by COVID-19.

 What are the challenges and needs of entrepreneurs and what tools and resources are available at the Chamber? #supportlatinobiz, #smallbizBigStory, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Houston East End Chamber of Commerce and Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia. 

STC Consulting a Business & Financial Management Consulting firm that helps improve the profit & productivity of businesses. Solutions are CFO on demand, Financial speaking & workshops for Corporations, Financial Management, Business Consulting, Financial Modeling, Financial Training, and Bookkeeping Services for Business Owners and Startups.

Watching the money: Tips to thrive – Covid19 edition

Join Soledad Tanner, Founder & CEO of STC Consulting, a Business & Financial Management Consulting firm navigate the choppy financial waters of COVID19.

The webinar is targeted to small businesses and professionals interested in maximizing their PROFIT & PRODUCTIVITY. You will learn how to manage your cashflow, organize your business to be more efficient, and leverage your revenue to grow within the COVID-19 environment. 

Please references this webinar for a free 15-minute consultation! Schedule your free session! Contact or call 346-227-2895.

Food Industry Recovery Program - Baker Ripley & Hope Clinic/STC Consulting

Soledad Tanner – Founder & CEO - STC Consulting will be a financial expert guest speaker at Baker Ripley and HOPE Clinic – Food industry recovery program for small business owners. This is an online series mixed with one-on-one coaching and presented in Spanish. This program is aimed at owners or partners of small businesses related to the food industry. 

The objective of the "Food Industry Recovery Program" is to rebuild businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. They will learn about sustainable financial business models in the food industry, the importance of building out a strategic plan for recovery, and improve focus and business mindset in order to pivot their business. 

STC Consulting is a Business & Financial Management Consulting firm that helps improve the profit & productivity of businesses. Services are CFO on demand for Corporations, Financial Management, Business Consulting and Financial Training for Business Owners and Startup Boost for Startups