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Money Maven Blog by Sheryl Sutherland, Authorised Financial Adviser and Director of The Financial Strategies Group

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading by Sheryl Sutherland: Girls Just Want to Have Fund$ - Every Women’s Guide to Financial Independence, Money, Money, Money Ain't it Funny - How to Wire your Brain for Wealth, and Smart Money - How to structure your New Zealand business or investments and pay less tax.

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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Who's Counting?

We have to talk about the gender wage gap in Ireland. It's the highest in the world. But there's a catch. It's not men earning more than women. It's women - those without children, at least - earning more than men.

Irish women without kids earn 17 percent more than the typical male worker, according to new research from the OECD.

Once kids enter the picture, the picture changes.

For example, in the Netherlands, women work almost 2 hours more per day than men, and female employment has climbed to over 70% if you factor in part-time workers, the cost of having children is about 7 percentage points compared to male earnings. In Korea, where more married women are expected to leave their jobs and female participation rates haven't much budged for 20 years, according to OECD, female earnings plummet compared to men after kids.

Source: The Atlantic


Having it all: this famous and absurd phrase implies that women have somehow gone beyond their station by doing more than just having babies. Value laden and filled with contempt, it suggests an element of greed - depicting working mothers as overambitious idealists, shunning caring responsibilities in favour of work.

Viviene Reding, the European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship at January's Davos World Economic Forum said it was crucial for wokers to be provided with proper childcare "an issue for men as well as women."

Perhaps we should opt for a new phrase: “the family/life balance”. Yes, admittedly it's less catchy for newspaper headlines, but in reality it’s a choice and balancing act that both men and women should be supported to achieve.

Supporting women into managerial positions also has a strong economic case: “The very best minds, men’s and women’s alike, are needed to address today’s business challenges”. "Having it all” for both men and women is an economic imperative.

Source: Telegraph UK

Musings and Amusings

This article should be widely disseminated. Made me rethink my view of the man.

Losing my religion for equality by Jimmy Carter.

"So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women's equal rights across the world for centuries."

Nearly 5 years after this was written we are still seeing the schism in the Anglican Church, the atrocious behaviour of many Islam adherents towards women and the results of the skewed celibacy rules of the Roman Catholic Church.

Everyday Money

Will Your Mother Live in Poverty?

Documenting the wage gap based on motherhood in many countries, including the United States, the OECD tells the sorry maternal tale in stark numbers.

In the U.S., the wage gap between men and women without children is only seven percent.

Have your first child on American soil, however, and the wage gap rockets to 23%.

Women over 65 today are more than one and a half times more likely to live in poverty than men in the same age bracket.

As the OECD reports, 65% of an American family’s second wage is spent on childcare. For single mothers, of course, that’s 65% of a first wage.

Couple the wage gap, the motherhood penalty, and child care expenses with a 40% single motherhood rate and you get exactly what you’d expect – more than one in five American children living below the poverty line.

In the absence of genuine economic and political power, “women’s” issues will continue to languish unattended (or to be hostility opposed).

Whether your mother will spend her elder years in poverty or your sisters and children will spend theirs in want and diminished opportunity is really up to us, the women.

We women are the ground beneath civilization’s feet and the high heels in which the world dances.

Source: Forbes


Coca-Cola CEO Says Women Most Dynamic Economic Force In World Today, and of course we know it, some commentators such as Warren Buffett know it.

Today, the driving force of the new women’s movement is located in the camps of what used to be the opposition - business and finance.

In the United States, women control or influence more than 80 percent of purchasing decisions. Globally they are responsible for $20 trillion in spending, a figure expected to rise to $28 trillion by 2014.

Goldman Sachs has found that it is women who are redefining markets and creating growth by focusing their spending power on purchases such as food, health care, education, clothing, consumer durables, and financial services. And, according to a Deloitte study, women’s earning power is growing faster than men’s in the developing world, where their earned incomes have increased by 8.1 percent compared with men’s 5.8 percent.

As the CEO of Coca-Cola, recently stated, “The truth is that women are already the most dynamic and fastest-growing economic force in the world today.”

That's the new revolution.

Source: Forbes