So I’m now seated somewhere strategically in the breakfast workshop at The Centre for Ageing Better. I am positioned in a non-confrontational and safe location about three rows from the back. Notepad out and curiosity intact. Ready for the first speaker and by pure chance it is an all-woman panel. Not by design of course, but Striped Sisters, this could be a very good sign!
First up Jane Portas from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Now if you’d asked me 20 years ago if I would be found sitting in on a presentation from PwC, an eyebrow would have been raised rather incredulously, such is my known distrust of all things corporate financial. Mention the words financial planning and I would be shifting in my seat, pondering the fact that this was decidedly uncool and how it is SO much better ‘going with the flow’. However, times change and so do opinions and within minutes I realise how wrong one can be. Jane Portas may not be Mary Portas’s younger sister, but within 5 minutes of her taking the floor, she had achieved an equal iconic status as far as I am concerned. Where has this woman been all my life?
It just so happens that PwC have been investing some considerable time looking at all things female financial and have identified 12 perils and pitfalls in a woman’s life. Before you think or even say it Striped Sisters, we are not talking about the questionable ‘Rah-Rah’ skirts of the 80s, I’m being serious here! Fact number one – there is a gender pay gap! OK that’s not something new but it is something that crops up quite often without a real examination of what that means. For Jane Portas, the very existence of this gender gap is exactly why women have to be super vigilant about finance and in particular, invest their time wisely in financial planning.
Jane’s research into key financial risks highlights the fact that risk starts as early as school education, where the gender gap in the subjects that young girls choose mean that they are often destined for lower-paid jobs. Further financial concerns follow into adult life, not only in work, but are also carried into the financial differentials involved in relationships and co-habitation. Most noticeably after childbirth, larger financial risks can be entrenched, as trends show women opting for part-time work, which has a significant long-term impact on their finances, particularly their future pension. Fast forward into retirement, and the evidence indicates there are significant pension gaps due to the flexible working options women have taken when juggling a multitude of caring responsibilities, children or otherwise.
Having been taken on this journey of risk assessment, things can look fairly bleak, but the good news is that PwC have outlined ‘Six Moments that Matter’ in a woman’s financial life. These moments include growing up, entering and re-entering the workplace, motherhood, caring, as well as the planning for retirement and later life. Jane argues that with forward planning and the appropriate interventions within, and ideally before, these six moments, there are clear opportunities to insure a woman’s financial future and in the words of Jane Portas, improve both a woman’s independence and her financial resilience….. and that Striped Sisters, is something that certainly matters.
For more details on Jane’s fascinating research, follow this link: https://www.insuringwomensfutures.co.uk/
© stripedsisters 2019