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Women still earning less than men: report

WOMEN are still lagging behind men in the economic stakes, according to a preliminary report commissioned by the Commonwealth and State Ministers for the Status of Women.

According to the study of women’s access to finance, their share of assets and their relative wealth in both Australia and New Zealand, more needs to be done to enable women to achieve equality with men.

The report’s findings will also be used to encourage financial institutions to better target their services to women.

In Australia, women account for 51 per cent of the population and 47 per cent of the estimated total wealth.

The median value of women’s wealth is $54,900 and the median value for men’s wealth is $90,000.

The report found that, in every age group, men were more likely to be confident about their future than women.

One of the largest differences in wealth between men and women is in superannuation holdings. The value of women’s super holdings is about one-third that of men.

Women also own fewer unincorporated business assets – about 40 per cent of the business assets of men in Australia and 20 per cent of those of men in New Zealand.

The wealth of women in Australia is 84 per cent that of men and 86 per cent in New Zealand.

A woman’s wealth also appears to vary through her lifetime.

Early in life, women have 90 per cent of male wealth holdings. But from the age of 30 onwards the wealth difference falls to a low of around 70 per cent in the 40 to 49 year age group.

However, from the age of 50 onwards, because of the increasing number of widows, the trend is reversed.

In the 60 plus age group the average wealth of women is 96 per cent that of men.

The greatest wealth disparity is between male and female sole parents. Female sole parents have about one-third the mean wealth holdings of male sole parents.

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