Life, Relationships + Money; Discuss

Thurs 24 Nov

At Breakthrough, we’re inviting you to join us in the ‘Life, Relationships, Money; Discuss’ workshop to share your thoughts about one of life’s big questions — money. We want to know, what have you noticed about women’s experiences with finances? When relationships are thrown into the mix, what happens to the monetary side of things? And ultimately, we want to uncover how we can better support women’s economic freedom.

Led by Alana Johnson (Convenor, Victorian Women’s Trust), with support from Fiona Nixon (Bank Australia), this workshop will feature a whole host of experts (that’s you!), plus we’ll be working with researchers in the field such as Women’s Information Referral Exchange, Financial Counselling Australia, Women Talk Money, Good Shepherd and Women’s Legal Victoria.

Together, we’ll answer the question — what do we need to do to ensure women’s independence?

Shaping your life as you see fit without financial constraint, sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But let’s put the lofty idea of winning the lotto aside and focus on the essentials, like having enough money to put food on the table each week; being able to cover your bills, life expenses, and, if you have kids, providing for their education. Amidst this, don’t forget to enjoy life, whilst planning for the future. This is an experience that should be accessible to everyone, but for many women, it’s often out of reach. In Life, Relationships, Money; Discuss, we’ll unpack some of the key blockers for women, as determined by you.


Here’s just some of common financial barriers women as identified by lead researchers. See how they line up with your own observations — and let’s discuss at Breakthrough!

For women who are experiencing abuse, money can be a huge source of anxiety. In too many cases, a lack of access to finances further entrenches harm. Controlling the money is a common aspect of family violence, and can happen to any woman regardless of her financial ability or knowledge (Women’s Information Referral Exchange, 2014). Financial institutions can play a key role in supporting women by helping to reduce monetary stress and providing support mechanisms.

Women who work in the home are also behind the eight ball. Whether they are managing the household, caring for children, elderly family members or all of the above, women undertaking unpaid work simply do not have the same financial freedom that superannuation and a regular living wage affords others. Good Shepherd has noted the significant difference in average superannuation payout between men ($198,000) and women ($112, 600) is the end of a trajectory that begins early in life for women and continues until retirement (Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand, 2016).

Language, culture, mental and physical ability can also significantly impact  women’s financial independence. In 2015, AMES Australia did a study on migrant women who had low level of English literacy, which revealed that four-years after they had migrated to Australia, women were much less likely to be in the labour force compared to men; they were twice as likely to be earning less than $15 an hour compared to men; and were working in traditionally “feminised” occupations such as caring, administration and customer service.

With the right support from financial institutions, money can be a source of power and stability. At Breakthrough 2016, we’re asking you to join us in the Life, Relationships, Money; Discuss Workshop to share your thoughts on all three topics and how they intersect in a woman’s life. We want to hear what you think the roadblocks are for women today, and what you think must be done to ensure every woman has the freedom to shape her life as she chooses — that’s a future we all want to see.

This workshop is proudly supported by Bank Australia, the Major Partner of Breakthrough 2016.


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