The Financial Services Council unites organizations to increase women’s financial well-being

The Financial Services Council [FSC] today began a three-month, industry-wide campaign to take meaningful action to improve the financial well-being of our wāhine.

More than 80% of women surveyed by FSC rated their financial well-being as fair, poor or very poor.

“In response to these findings, we were delighted to partner with the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Pension Commission on this important initiative which will help change these statistics,” said FSC Chief Executive Richard Klipin.

Retired Commissioner Jane Wrightson said the latest FSC research further highlights why women have been identified as a priority group in the National Financial Capability Strategy.

“As part of the strategy’s first year plan, FSC was tasked with leading an industry initiative that would help women demystify money. It’s fantastic to see this mahi getting going.

“Women often have a different relationship with money compared to men, and messages about financial capability have not always resonated with them. Focusing on the particular needs of women, so as to reach them , the sector will support the financial empowerment of women.

After highlighting the campaign at an International Women’s Day event attended by an audience of over 800 moderated by Hilary Barry, FSC sought support in the form of meaningful actions that help improve the financial well-being of women in Aotearoa.

“We have already been very well received inside and outside the financial services industry,” said Clarissa Hirst, Project Manager It Starts With Action and Head of Content, Communications and Marketing at FSC. .

“So far, more than 60 organizations and individuals have pledged to take action. It’s amazing how the industry comes together to support this common goal.

The three-month campaign runs from May 2 to July 29, with bi-monthly themes focusing on different topics. FSC is hosting seven key industry-targeted activities during the period, ranging from webinars and in-person sessions to interactive activities.

Supporting organizations were then encouraged to carry out their own activities for their audiences, with FSC providing branded resources that organizations can use to champion the cause under the It Starts With Action umbrella.

FSC Chief Executive Richard Klipin welcomes sharing the efforts of Supporting Organizations.

“We look forward to sharing all the great work that our Member Organizations, along with other stakeholders, including nonprofits and government organizations, have committed to deliver in May-July 2022.”

Speakers attending the various FSC events include AIA Ambassador Jess Quinn, ANZ CEO Antonia Watson, Hatch co-founders Kristen Lunman and Natalie Ferguson and AUT’s Dr Ayesha Scott.

“It’s not too late to get involved on an individual or organizational level,” says Hirst. “It’s about taking big or small steps, so everything counts.”

Many actions are underway, including:

Mercer (NZ) Limited

One of the campaign’s founding champions, Mercer (NZ) Limited, is launching a new digital platform this week designed to help New Zealand women grow their wealth. The Table, proudly sponsored by Mercer NZ, is designed to support Kiwi women at any stage of their life to help them build wealth.

Free to access and offering practical tools, articles, a series of podcasts (Hosted by Michéle A’Court) and access to financial resources, the Mercer financial advice team and more, The Table was designed to that women can get together and talk about all things money. It’s a place where acronyms are explained, complex terms unpacked, and financial jargon unjarred.

Good Shepherd NZ

The non-profit organization and founding partner of the Good Shepherd NZ campaign will present its new toolkit for healthy financial relationships, created in partnership with Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

The toolkit includes quizzes, activities, and conversation tips that help people better understand their own relationship with money, as well as barriers that might impact their conversations about money with their partner.

Good Shepherd NZ Social Inclusion Manager Nicola Eccleton said:

We are thrilled to be part of this important campaign to improve the financial well-being of women. We know women face a different set of challenges when it comes to money and our toolkit aims to break down some of these barriers so women can feel more confident and secure when discussing money in their relationship.

Irihapeti Edwards

Financial Literacy Champion, Irihapeti Edwards, lends her support as an individual, sharing her story at one of the FSC-led activities during the campaign and explaining why financial wellbeing is so important for young people women :

“As a 23-year-old woman, I realize that the world of finance can often seem daunting and often ‘out of reach’. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, and my background (being born in a low-income New Zealand, being from several ethnic groups that fall into New Zealand’s pay gap, and being female), makes I am passionate about finding ways to empower and engage these groups towards financial freedom and financial literacy.

For more information on the campaign and upcoming activity, visit: www.fsc.org.nz/it-starts-with-action

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