As women approach retirement, a lifetime of gender inequality can often come into sharp focus. Particularly so when that focus is on superannuation.
Some of the causes of the super gender gap include:
Gender gaps can affect superannuation accounts as much as they can affect salary rates. With barriers to entering into fields, low hourly rates of pay in industries predominantly worked by women, less hours worked and more unpaid labour affecting the amount of super Australian women are retiring with, as compared to men.
This gender gap in superannuation balances can be impacted even more by women using maternity leave. With women taking their time off from work and losing out on super contributions during this period of paid parental leave, it can affect their super in the long run as it exacerbates the income and superannuation gaps that were already in effect during their employment.
It can also be exacerbated by existing salary gaps across the workforce. Despite traditionally male-dominated fields experiencing high percentages of female graduates entering the workforce, the positions that they fill are not always high-ranked, irrespective of experience.
There are three proposed measures with regard to how the superannuation gap could be addressed at a macro level. These include:
Here are some examples of ways in which women can increase their super balances to make up for any losses that may have been incurred:
If you are concerned about how your superannuation is performing or looking for more information, consulting with a professional is the best course of action.