Australian women's journey to financial equality09 Aug 2023 5 min read
As an industry super fund with a majority of female members, we are probably more aware than most of the gender pay gap, the fact that women retire with significantly less super than men, and that women over 55 are the fastest growing group of people at risk of homelessness. At NGS Super, we are firmly committed to gender equality. We believe that gender equality and diversity more broadly improves investment outcomes.
NGS Super has proudly collaborated with The Squiz to create this podcast series - How Far We’ve Come. This 6-part series celebrates how far women have come while acknowledging that there's still work to be done - as we highlight some of the big moments that made a real difference to women’s lives.
First stop: the early 1880s and the Married Women's Property Act, because did you know there was a time when Australian women couldn’t own their home or business? But more importantly, do you know why this matters? Because it still continues to impact property ownership statistics today.
Next up, we saw World War 2 and the first big wave of Australian women entering the paid workforce. It was a game changer in so many ways, but also entrenched the gender pay gap. Unfortunately something that is still very relevant today.
Let’s go back to the swinging ‘60s. A time when women in the public service, once they got married, were legally forced to resign. Yep that’s right, a married woman had two choices; hide their marriage or resign. It was all thanks to something called the Commonwealth Marriage Bar.
The Family Law Act and the introduction of no-fault divorce in Australia in 1975 was ground breaking legislation. It allowed couples to split without having to prove that your partner was to blame for the marriage breakdown. A huge step for those in unhappy or abusive relationships.
Fun fact; Australia was one of the first countries to make gender discrimination illegal. The 1984 Sex Discrimination Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex, marital status and pregnancy. It ensured the right of women to have equal access to employment and made sexual harassment in the workplace illegal for the first time.
When the federal government introduced their Paid Parental Leave scheme in 2011, Australia was one of the last developed countries to offer it. Who gets to take it? How long can you be away from work? Can your partner also take leave? These are questions many families grapple with, but at least there are options.