INTHEBLACK November 2021 - Magazine - Page 41
to this story as
Financial advice for women needs
to be targeted and delivered in a
way that recognises different
communication styles and
approaches to decision-making.
• Education and training programs should
be developed within the industry to
improve understanding of gender
inequality, challenge gender stereotypes
and make financial service providers
more aware of personal biases.
• Financial advisers should work with
“For example, Commonwealth Rent
Assistance should be reviewed, so that it
better meets the needs of those experiencing
Homelessness among older women
is also a key area of focus for Dr Kay
Patterson AO, Australian age discrimination
commissioner. She says older women have
been identified as the fastest-growing group
of homeless people in Australia in recent
years, due to several risk factors including
being single, renting, living alone and having
a lack of family support.
A 2019 Australian Human Rights
Commission report has “found that
homelessness can occur quite suddenly, due
to a single event or change in circumstance
such as major illness, eviction or job loss,
or it can result as a combination of factors
over time, with factors including financial
insecurity, relationship breakdown and the
rising cost of housing contributing”, says
Many older women experience
homelessness for the first time later in life,
after leading conventional working lives.
“The image of homelessness in Australia
is still often of men who are sleeping rough.
It’s important to continue to raise awareness
of older women’s homelessness in Australia,
as it remains quite hidden,” Patterson says.
“It is a complex issue and requires
intersecting, flexible solutions at every level,
on which all levels of government, non-
other organisations providing services to
older women to develop a “warm”
• Services should be delivered through
multiple access points and formats,
including digital, but also hard copy and
• Access to financial services for lower
income and low net wealth women
should be improved and kept affordable.
• Financial advisers should be educated to
recognise and understand who may be
vulnerable to financial abuse and
implement protocols similar to those
applied where elder abuse is suspected
– for example, providing opportunities
for the client to speak privately and
ensuring that consent is fully informed
and freely given.
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