WIRE wins national financial literacy award

Sydney: Victorian women’s support and advocacy organisation, Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE) have won Financial Literacy Australia (FLA)’s 2017 national award for a resource or communication project that assists people to make better decisions about their finances.

WIRE CEO Julie Kun attended last night’s awards ceremony, which recognised the success of the ‘Women Talk Money’ website, funded by FLA and delivered by WIRE. ‘We hear stories every day from women struggling to engage effectively with their finances – and our “Women Talk Money” website addresses that,’ Kun said after the awards last night. ‘Standard financial literacy products are often insufficient to help these women because they assume equitable, decision-making capacity about finances within relationships, which is not always the case.’

www.womentalkmoney.org.au is a financial tool for women featuring videos, articles and quizzes that provides users with bite-sized chunks of information on topics such as talking about money with partners, gender and money, and recognising financial abuse. ‘Women Talk Money’ also takes users through financial decisions that may arise through the different stages of life.

Behind WIRE’s decision to produce the website is years of research showing that cultural stereotypes of women as poor money managers, as well as structural financial disadvantage, such as a 16% gendered pay gap, often lead to women’s lack of confidence in financial decision-making. This leads to poorer financial outcomes and make women more vulnerable to financial abuse and financial insecurity.

Driven by these troubling findings, WIRE wanted to create a tool that could offer women tools to regain their financial confidence, skills and knowledge. Results show ‘Women Talk Money’ is an effective tool in educating and empowering women to manage their finances better. An online survey recorded that over 70% of the site’s users had either made a change to their financial situation or were planning to make a change. One user said the site gave her ‘an opportunity to think about how to start a conversation and acknowledgement that [financial literacy] is hard to talk about’.

WIRE, a leader in providing a gendered response to women’s financial security, is also Victoria’s only women’s support and advocacy organisation providing information, referral and support to all women. Founded in 1984, its vision is that of a society where women are safe, respected, valued, informed, empowered and free to make genuine choices in their lives. WIRE offers opportunities for women to meet with other women through their drop-in centre in Melbourne, via their phone or online chat services, or through the many seminars, workshops and professional development sessions they run every year.

The Women Talk Money website can be found at www.womentalkmoney.org.au

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