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Women’s Financial Literacy & Security

Women urgently need to be empowered with the necessary knowledge and confidence to achieve financial security. As we continue to live longer and for longer periods on our own, this becomes a pressing issue.

WIRE’s work on women’s financial literacy came out of the knowledge that women did not talk about planning for their financial future. Statistically, we knew that women’s average superannuation balance was around $45,000 which is not enough to support women in retirement.

 January−July 2012 Helping women get control of their money after family violence workshops

Consumer Affairs Victoria kindly funded WIRE’s state-wide workshop program for women who have experienced financial abuse in the context of family violence. Professional development workshops were also delivered for community service workers and professionals supporting women who have experienced family violence.

The aim of these workshops were to help these women, as well as the community workers and professionals who support them, to:

  • Better understand how to manage money
  • Identify tactics of financial abuse in family violence

Workshop participants also gained practical tools and skills on how to find their own financial ‘feet’, as well as to support clients on how to manage money after family violence.

WIRE’s financial literacy project worker Sally Marsden researched and developed the program resources—a 77-page participant manual, a 34-page Trainer Guide for Workers and a 46-page Trainer Guide for Women. She also trained facilitators and delivered some workshops.

In June 2012, 10 workshops were delivered for professionals in the family violence and financial counsellor sectors in five metropolitan locations and five regional locations. The response was overwhelming—a total of 97 workers attended the one-day professional development workshops, with waiting lists for six workshop locations.

  • 91% of the workers rated the workshop as very good or excellent
  • 97.8% of the workers rated the participant manual as very good or excellent

In July 2012, 17 women attended five women’s workshops run in five locations across Victoria. All women participants found the workshop useful and the workbook easy to understand. The workshop also increased all participants’ understanding of money and assisted women to identify the changes they could make in managing their money. The most useful aspects of the workshop for the women were:

  • The economic abuse power and control wheel
  • The information about finding support and help
  • Goal setting and personal action plans.

Interestingly this project also identified barriers women faced in attending these workshops—childcare, transport and work or study commitments got in the way, despite a clear need for this information and women’s desire to attend the workshops.

 November 2011: 10ThousandGirl Planning Workshops

We are pleased to support 10thousandgirl – an Australian not-for-profit organisation that is committed to seeing every young woman take action toward developing and fulfilling her life plan.

10thousandgirl provides financial literacy education that is credible, accessible, relevant and practical to women, and aims to achieve meaningful, long-term behavioural change that helps women reach their financial and other life goals.

10thousandgirl wants every young woman (15-40 years) across Australia to:

  • Have a life plan with goals that are written down
  • Learn to plan, save and invest for a self-funded future
  • Have a minimum 3-6 months wages in accessible savings as an emergency fund
  • Have sufficient and relevant insurance
  • Know what comes in, what goes out, and where her money is invested
  • Have access to a supportive network
  • Contribute to our broader economic prosperity and wellbeing
  • Have the opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of women in less developed countries

Find out more by visiting

April 2010: Young Women & Money Research Report

Funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria, this research explored young women’s relationship with money, credit and debt through a gender lens. Identified effective mediums to communicate financial information to young women and made recommendations to respective government agencies and the Australian Banking Association.

Young Women & Money Research Report 2010 (830 KB)

2009: Women Employment Survey

WIRE worked with women’s information services located in most states and territories to develop and disseminate the  survey questionnaire. The survey was developed to look at specific issues women face in seeking paid work and/or engaging in paid work in order to better understand what information or support is needed to help women. economic Security4Women provided additional funding to complete the data analysis and prepare a final report.

Read more about the Women Employment Survey

2008 to 2010: Women & Money Partnership Project

Our state-wide partnership project with Queen Victoria Women’s Centre and Office of Women’s Policy (Victoria) offered financial literacy training workshops and seminars to women in communities across Victoria. WIRE developed the workshop manual which was used in the training and supervision of workshop facilitators each year. This project delivered a series of individual seminars on selected financial topics and a 4-week workshop program to women in Victoria, and received the MoneySmart Week 2012 Highly Commended Award.

Read more about our Women & Money 2010 program

2008: Women Understanding Money

We developed these new information sheets in partnership with the Security4Women Secretariat and as a member of the economic Security4Women (eS4W) National Alliance. WIRE also helped Federal Office for Women and Australian Financial Literacy Foundation to develop information sheet topics and content.

A Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Money Jungle

WIRE developed this simple ten-step money guide to meet women’s financial literacy needs.

Guide to Surviving Money Jungle Foldout (765 KB)

August 2007: Women’s Financial Literacy Research Report

Funded by Helen Macpherson-Smith Trust, this report revealed that even highly educated, well-paid women felt overwhelmed, clueless and fearful about managing finances.

Women’s Financial Literacy Research Report 2007 (2.5 MB)

May 2006: Women’s Financial Needs Survey

This WIRE survey was conducted in national partnership with Women’s Information Services.  The survey asked women what financial information they needed and how they felt about planning for their financial future.

WIRE Publications Order Form 2015 (July)

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This page was last updated on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.
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