Chief amongst them was the long-held belief that women’s sporting events wouldn’t attract viewers on the same scale as men’s events. With more than 1.5 million tickets sold across the duration of the Women’s World Cup, and the TV broadcast of the Quarter Final becoming the most watched sporting program in a decade, it’s clear that women’s sport has become an unstoppable juggernaut.
However, these impressive numbers mask the game’s persistent financial inequality. Teams in the FIFA Women’s World Cup were competing for a total prize pool of US$110 million, compared with the US$440 million in prize money on offer for the men’s tournament in 2022. According to FIFA’s timeline, it’s unlikely the women’s competition will achieve true equality in financial terms until at least 2027.
These world-class athletes are the tip of the iceberg of financial imbalances that still exist for Australian women everywhere. Don’t believe us? Here are four areas where inequality remains rife in matters of business and finance.
1. Women in leadership
Of the top 200 companies in Australia, only 14 are led by female CEOs, and women occupy just 28 per cent of all senior leadership positions, according to a recent report by advocacy group Chief Executive Women.
What’s more, Australian companies are actually going backwards, with 47 of the top 300 companies having no women at all in their leadership teams, up from 44 companies in 2022.
2. The gender pay gap
Yes, it still exists and women in the financial services industry are among the hardest hit. Women working in this field typically earn almost one-third (28.6 per cent) less than their male counterparts, according to data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). Only the construction industry has a bigger earnings gap, with women earning 29 per cent less than men.
On average, Australian women across all industries will earn around $1 million less over their working lives than their male counterparts, based on research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work.
3. Less money for retirement
This gender pay gap during women’s working years also has a significant knock-on effect on retirement savings, with women typically retiring with around 24 per cent less in super than men, financial industry group ASFA reports. This means women have around $136,000 less to spend in retirement than men.
4. Be the change
While inequalities like these unfortunately still exist, organisations are increasingly approaching things differently, offering new ways of working that actively support a fairer world for women. Included among these is Stella Insurance, an award-winning insurance brand^ that’s been designed from the ground up to offer a range of products that aim to prioritise the needs of women.
The seeds of Stella Insurance were sown after founder and CEO Sam White read the small print on car insurance policies offered by traditional insurance companies and discovered that many of them would not pay out on a claim if a car had been damaged by someone known to the claimant. As this clause largely impacted women who had experienced domestic abuse, this seemed unfair to White, who became so motivated to offer an alternative, she would go on to found Stella in 2020.
The purpose-driven company now puts women front and centre, offering insurance solutions that are actively developed around the needs and priorities of women. But it goes even further by supporting like-minded charities including Women's and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) – which provides support to women and children experiencing domestic violence – and Her Heart, a not-for-profit (NFP) focused on the prevention of heart disease in women.
By offering real and meaningful alternatives, companies like Stella are addressing the gender inequalities that still exist, helping to correct the imbalance for women.
Brought to you by Stella.
*Underwriting criteria apply. Stella Comprehensive Car Insurance is issued and underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFSL 239545) (QBE) and distributed by Stella Underwriting Pty Ltd (ABN 72633811319) acting as an Authorised Representative (AR 001282046) of Insurtech Gateway Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 27 633 140 879, AFSL 525866), which is acting under its own AFSL on behalf of QBE. Stella Pet Insurance is issued by Pacific International Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 83 169 311 193) (Pacific) and distributed by Stella Underwriting Pty Ltd (ABN 72 633 811 319, AR 001282046) acting as an Authorised Representative of Knose Financial Services Pty Ltd (ABN 38 620 795 735, AFSL 536651), which is acting under a binding authority as agent for Pacific. Any advice provided is general only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. You should consider the appropriateness of any such advice, and read the Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’), the Target Market Determination (‘TMD’) and Financial Services Guide (‘FSG’) for these products available at www.stellainsurance.com.au before making a decision to acquire, or to continue to hold, the product.
^At the WeMoney Insurance Awards 2023, Stella was awarded Winner - Car Insurer of the Year; Winner - Outstanding Claims Experience (Car Insurance); Winner - Best for Quality (Car Insurance); and Winner - Outstanding Customer Service (Pet Insurance).