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Financial Services Council Rallies Organisations To Grow Women’s Financial Wellbeing

The Financial Services Council [FSC] today began a three-month, pan-sector campaign to take meaningful action to improve the financial wellbeing of our wāhine. 

Over 80% of women surveyed by the FSC rated their financial wellbeing moderate, low or very low. 

“In response to these findings, we were delighted to partner with Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission on this important initiative that will help change these statistics,” said FSC chief executive Richard Klipin. 

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

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

“Women often relate to money in different ways to men, and financial capability messages have not always resonated with them. By focusing on women’s particular needs, in ways that will reach them, the sector will support women’s financial empowerment.” 

After signalling the campaign at an International Women’s Day event attended by a live audience of over 800 people hosted by Hilary Barry, the FSC sought support in the form of meaningful actions that help to improve the financial wellbeing of women in Aotearoa. 

“We’ve already had tremendous uptake from both within and beyond the financial services sector” said Clarissa Hirst, It Starts With Action project lead and FSC Head of Content, Communications and Marketing. 

“So far over 60 organisations and individuals have committed to taking action. It’s incredible to see the way the industry is coming together to support this common goal.” 

The three-month campaign is taking place from 2 May-29 July, with fortnightly themes that focus on different topics. The FSC is organising seven key activities targeting industry over the period, ranging from webinars and in-person sessions to interactive activities. 

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

FSC chief executive Richard Klipin is looking forward to sharing the efforts of supporting organisations. 

“We can’t wait to share all the great work that our member organisations, along with other stakeholders, including non-profits and government organisations, have committed to over May-July 2022.” 

Among the speakers who’ll be attending the various FSC events are 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 at either an individual or organisational level,” says Hirst. “This is about taking action big or small, so everything counts.” 

A wide range of actions are taking place, including: 

Mercer (N.Z.) Limited

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

Free to access, and featuring practical tools, articles, a podcast series (Hosted by Michéle A'Court) and access to financial resources, the Mercer financial advice team and more, The Table has been designed so women can come together and talk about all things money. It’s a place where acronyms are explained, complex terms unpacked, and financial jargon un-jargoned. 

Good Shepherd NZ

Not-for-profit and campaign Founding Partner Good Shepherd NZ will be featuring its new Healthy Financial Relationships Toolkit that was created in partnership with Auckland University of Technology (AUT). 

The toolkit features quizzes, activities and conversational tips that support people to better understand their own relationship with money, as well as the barriers that could be impacting their discussions about money with their partner.

Good Shepherd NZ’s Social Inclusion Manager, Nicola Eccleton said: 

We are excited to be a part of this important campaign to help improve women’s financial wellbeing. We know women face a different set of challenges when it comes money and our toolkit aims to remove some of those barriers so that women can feel more confident and secure discussing money within their relationship.” 

Irihapeti Edwards

Financial literacy champion Irihapeti Edwards is supporting in an individual capacity, by sharing her story at one of the FSC-led activities during the campaign and spreading the word about why financial wellbeing is so important for young women: 

“As a 23-year-old woman, I'm aware that the world of finances can often feel intimidating and often feel 'out of reach.' I've always enjoyed a challenge, and having the background that I do (being born into low-income New Zealand, belonging to multiple ethnic groups that fall into the vice-grip of New Zealand's pay gaps, and being a woman), makes me passionate to find ways to empower and engage these groups towards financial freedom and financial literacy.” 

More information about the campaign and the upcoming activity can be found at: www.fsc.org.nz/it-starts-with-action

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