The gender pay gap and divorce were some of the issues that were stopping women from understanding how to thrive financially, according to AFA Inspire national chair Dianne Charman.
Speaking at her first roadshow, Charman said 64 per cent of women “didn’t feel they understood the financial language” and added how rearing kids, carer duties and time away from the workforce were “some of the things that keep her awake”.
The 20-year industry veteran provided insights from the latest research on the cost of divorce, the retirement gap and the impact of financial bullying. She also made a case for planning during the pre-separation, separation and divorce stages.
The pay gap remained a key topic of conversation, with Charman saying the gap currently sat at 16 per cent and 33 per cent at an executive level.
She said women avoided talking about finances at the beginning of a relationship, however, she believed that was the most crucial time to enter into that discussion “as one in three marriages end in divorce and the time from separation to divorce is three-and-a-half years on average”.
“Wealth took five years to recover from the impact of a divorce, with 66.4 per cent of income going to household necessities,” she said.
A large share of the budget was spent on alcohol and cigarettes to deal with the stress, she added.
The roadshow opened with an address from Association of Financial Advisers chief executive Philip Kewin, who said the aim of the event was to encourage more women to become advisers.
Kewin said the AFA recognised the success of thought leaders by “bringing to the fore those professionals who lead the way”.
The Inspire program was launched in 2013, with the number of women in the AFA membership increasing by nearly 30 per cent since then.
In a live poll at the event, guests were asked if they thought advisers could shorten the five-year recovery time frame for clients who were divorcing and if lawyers and advisers could collaborate to achieve the same outcome. Both answers received a majority yes verdict.
By Megan Tran
25 May 2017