Why the gender financial gap.....& what do we do about it?

It’s no secret that the gender paygap is still a regrettable reality… And that the implications of this for women’s overall financial wellbeing are far reaching. This was brought home to us vividly when we launched crowdfunding and for every dollar contributed by a women, 6 were contributed by Men. You might like to reach the Xinja Chair’s blog on this - Where are the women investors? - and we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this topic so please fire away.

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Currently running a small finance club, mainly aimed at helping women with their finance.

With the new $1.6m super cap also people should see their financial professionals about spouse/partner contributions annually, as your each better to be level on super not different!

Last but not least, suggest that for women reading this they check out Claire Hooper’s Pineapple Project podcast on the ABC. Worth a listen!


That’s really interesting @weeksy_j - keep us posted about how the finance club goes - we are publishing some more blogs around this shortly - and here’s the link for Claire Hooper’s ABC podcasts for anyone who wants it! http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/the-pineapple-project/

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Downloaded! Thanks for the podcast tip. :stuck_out_tongue:

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We’ve written another blog on the paygap by industry - we’re doing ok at 50% women, >50% on the exec and a female chair - but will we maintain it as we hire more people into tech? https://www.xinja.com.au/news/2018/xinja-women-taking-it-on-one-industry-at-a-time/

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So we all know the reasons for the gender financial gap but what’s not spoken about (not sure if this is the forum) is the lack of financial literacy and/or financial abuse experienced.

Thinking a pink xinja dedicated to improving financial literacy for women and then somehow linking back to community eg. Charity/womens shelters


Really interesting! @ttuyenchung - agree that in a way the obvious question is ‘so where do we go from here?’ We’re looking at some more specific stuff that can be done, and starts to help solve the problem so thank you :grinning::ninja_emojis_pink_03::slightly_smiling_face: Love this idea and we’ll throw it in the mix!

There’s also an issue here if there’s superannuation being invested in SMSFs where there’s a tendency for a male partner’s balance to be higher as a result of them working whilst their partner takes time off for raising kids.

This isn’t well documented, though it is known about, even at the federal level, and there are some things like maternity leave super being enacted to deal with it.

What I would say - and I can’t say it as advice as I’m not a financial planner … but it is common sense - with the A$1.6m cap on super accounts now, it’s REALLY important for younger married couples to look at equalising their balances if they plan on doing any additional contributions to superannuation because you don’t want >A$1.6m in a male spouse’s account and <$1.6m in a female partner’s account at retirement. There are ways around this / balance transfers withdrawals. But the fact is it would have been better off to try to level this off earlier with your partner/spouse.

This will also help the stats on female investment :smile: because women’s super accounts will be higher :+1:


Some weeks ago, I saw an article (that had a lot of cool graphs), which looked at the gender pay gap.

On average, women did get paid less than men, but where the difference was most clearly significant, was for women who had left the workplace to have children. From memory, when women returned to work, their pay did increase but it never again reaches the earlier averages.

Slightly frustratingly, I can’t find the article at the moment but will post it if I come across it again.

In another thread, there has been talk of products and features - perhaps there is an opportunity for a specific “maternity leave / parental” type product. :thinking:


Great idea @yogi - we are looking at relevant features that address some of the gender parity issues - it’s complex :thinking: Here’s another blog on the old gender paygap - here we are looking at the glass ceiling and how to crack it…https://www.xinja.com.au/news/2018/xinja-women-hacking-the-glass-ceiling/

Love this topic but it has so many facets.

Why women didn’t invest in the crowd funding as much could simply be that they didn’t know about it as it didn’t come up in any areas their reading took them and none of their friends are involved in such things?

With me likely if it did come up in posts or emails from unknown sources was instantly dismissed as another scam and too busy nor interested to investigate because if was good i would have already heard from a friend? Reality, maybe not.

Why generally they dont get involved in finance, mostly education. I’ve just started to learn about finance now. Exam tomorrow. Having worked in accounts for over 20 years I thought I knew about money and I am good with my money. But there is another world in finance.

Still noone ever taught me previously about risks, correlations of shares, diversification I thought was what a business did, not something I could do and generally banks were considered safe places for money the higher return for risk took larger sums of money. Women, me, were not comfortable in loosing larger somes of money. Just now staring to play with super.

The language and emotion of men and women is different and also the needs, so the emphasis is placed on different areas when communicating, translation sometimes isn’t easy.

Forgive me if this sounds sexist but I like security.

Re the gap? Workplaces differ, but basically the UNIVERSITY TAUGHT MODEL is that business exists to make the owner money and the owner will be out to get the best return on their investment, which means they have to give high enough incentives to the manager to maintain that goal, who will look to find employees who will help them achieve that goal. The way that is thought best done traditionally was often devised by the way men think. It is changing.

Does that value challenge females because they cant translate womanese into menspeak for others, to show another way to reach that goal? Is misunderstanding/language creating a barrier also because they cant walk the way the guys do exactly?

Does it challenge men in their decision to pull up women around them that may challenge them on their decisions.

As the general employees say “unfair” to many of the judgements business will make to reach that aim, it is the current corporation model, so I am told by RMIT.

As a nation we keep complaining about business not making equality make allowances for differences.

Business is wanting best return on investment in staff= those that bring the best return. This is being challenged with demonstrations of how a company impacts others, impacts the company.

Social responsibility is only recently been seen as an asset that adds value to an organisation.

I could go on…


Hi @PLeigh Patricia - love this - as you say, it sure is a long and winding road - and I keep getting lost in cause and effect… but I love the way you’ve expressed pragmatically the model: “Workplaces differ, but basically the UNIVERSITY TAUGHT MODEL is that business exists to make the owner money and the owner will be out to get the best return on their investment, which means they have to give high enough incentives to the manager to maintain that goal, who will look to find employees who will help them achieve that goal. The way that is thought best done traditionally was often devised by the way men think. It is changing.” - the pattern them simply repeats…and as you say, prove business value can come from a different structure and we can win the argument without getting into areas where we rely on anyone’s notion of ‘doing the right thing’ which is difficult territory…pragmatism can win the day perhaps.

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Interesting article from Forbes from April -'Want to make your tech company better? Hire women!

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Hi @PLeigh, I just wanted to chip in on this, and say how much I liked reading your comment. Its really helpful to get thoughtful insight and commentary on stuff like this…especially as a man in my 40’s its not something that is always intuitive or obvious to me!
We will keep working really hard to level the playing field, to be deeply responsible, and to make sure that we try very hard to be a force for good, especially in this arena.


There’s a great discussion here to be had about trajectory of not online career but also money.

The time value money, namely interest and earnings, is an amazing thing.

The double financial whammy about women (often not always) being the primary care giver / raiser-of-children) is that their career trajectory money-wise is affected in the form of their salary.


The weeks, months, years, where they did not earn salary they typically did not contribute to superannuation. This is huge. The loss of and year of capital between 25-45 (normal kid ages guesstimate only) means >$100k is lost at retirement (more like $130k).
(and that’s just at avg. salary $80k @ 9.5% super x 17 (for factor 30 years @ 10% ~ more if you’re a higher income earner and more if you take more than a year off (i.e. 2 kids @ 6 months each)

Financial planning around this space is one thing and I’ve mentioned it above with the context of spousal contributions to take advantage.

Another though @XinjaMaker to make sure (or I’d love to see) is that any maternity payments have superannuation attached, whether it’s legislated or not. So that not only is the current not hurt, but neither is the future!


This is an amazing answer, and the one I was looking for to be honest!

In a previous life as a lobbyist one of our main projects was getting more women in leadership positions. We faced similar challenges from an interest perspective. For every 5 men who would put a hand up to lead a project, we’d have 1 woman. Our board was interested in promoting equity over equality, and it meant that if they promoted the woman for being a woman, they weren’t being equitable, and so continued the vicious cycle.

But in my mind, although they thought they were being equitable, the female contingent did not receive the same ‘equity’ in all the years leading up to that point, so the concept was invalid. Males have been historically nurtured to be money minded breadwinners, so in many ways females almost have to go against the grain just to be included.

You’re 100% right about university playing a massive role in this, but I think it goes one step further into Primary school. Where are our early-childhood programs dedicated to showing kids they can aren’t locked into a specific path… Sewing for boys, wood work for girls, get them early with the possibilities and it wont seem so alien later in life.

If you asked me to sew a button on my jacket, I couldn’t do it. There’s a whole set of skills right there that could save me money and make me feel more dependant. I know it pales in comparison to becoming the a CEO of a company or other directorial position, but the point is I think we have a lot of work to do in undoing the damage, and it starts with the kids, not the adults.

You are right Social Xinja.

I think schools provide equal choice in what they do offer, could be wrong as I’ve not heard too much lately to know. But I don’t think life skills have every really been taught much since probably the 70s.

What jobs will exist when today’s children grow up?

What technology will be around?

Life skills are always needed and none more important (in my opinion) than how to make a good decision.

Imagine if every child was taught how to establish good values, and learn how to make decisions testing them against decent and good core values, adding in the decision good manners and ethics.

If they were taught how to build their core values with the assistance of good roll-models that showed them how to test and adjust their values as they learn about how others determine their values, maybe by the time they grow up they will have understood how to engage a team of different types of peoples from different genders and cultures who through discussion, learn the shared core values and make decisions using those.

Views these days seem to be limited from not having had that childhood of experience learning to understand the values and views of others as you say SocialXinja. I don’t know that parents have been taught to be able to teach this. I have only ever heard one person teach this kind of life skill and I can’t remember who it was :frowning: .

I know I find it hard to navigate being a woman around some men in business as I am such a down to earth person, some have attempted walking over me, but usually because I am so damn good at what I do, I have the MD and partners boot them back down to where they should be. I am ok with that, I still like being a woman and have other men look out for me, but is that something I should change? I like that I don’t have to promote to others my position but the MD then reaffirms to ensure others understand the right way to do things. Still I’d love to find out what I need to change to look the way I should for my role, then I do a backflip on that though. Being me is why I am here. Do I need to dress up to look like a power’ woman or can I continue to dress office neet casual as is the dress code in our place, should I change that?

I’d love to see formed a self-mentoring group for women who find themselves rising in the ranks who may feel less than the polished power women but who are bloody fantastic and lacking role models of how to be them in the men’s arena.

Where are the women who grew up in business being constantly thrown in the deep end, who have been in the trenches, on the front line and now stand in higher places because they bothered to continue to learn and grow, they know every rope in the business plus keep up with the changes in laws, plus, plus, plus.

I’ve not had role models show me how to navigate this path, I have looked through my LinkedIn contacts sent out a few messages “with no reply” Really? Women come on! Although I do understand, most do not have time to do one-on-ones on top of all else they do.

I know some guys are great team players, some are insecure.

I will continue to muddle my way through?


How Orchestras included women


Hi @PLeigh Patricia! It’s taken me ages to get back to this conversation - largely because sadly my mum died a couple of weeks ago so I’ve been busy - however she got me thinking on these very topics! As a mathematician she was passionate about women getting into maths and science and was one of only 10 women reading maths at Cambridge uni in 1949! I’ve just go back from speaking at the ‘women in finance’ conference today at the ICC and was listening to talks on diversity and unconscious bias. At Xinja we’re doing ok for now but there is a real challenge ahead of us as a tech company - notorious for lack of diversity etc. I had a couple of ideas on this whilst I was at the conference - would be interested in what people think (this is for rec:

  1. Get people to review CVs and shortlist without seeing the name and age
  2. Asking people to respond to specific assessment tasks and again anonymising the results for those selecting the shortlist
  3. Reviewing psychographic tests again anonymised
  4. Finding a pool of women in IT to advertise the jobs to to increase the % of female candidates (this could be done pretty easily by targeting them on facebook say - wouldn’t cost a lot)
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In the latest blog in the #xinjawomen series we look at the cost of being a woman (literally).

We’re interested in your thoughts.

What ideas do you have about addressing issues that drag women down financially?

Can we come up with some innovative solutions to improve women’s financial outcomes?

How do we encourage change collectively?

What’s working in your world?

We’re looking forward to hear from all of you

@weeksy_j @ttuyenchung @PLeigh @XinjaMaker @BlueSky_Xinja @goldenxinja @SportyXinja @earthyxinja @NanoXinja @XinjaNinja @safetyxinja

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