By Matthew Lee
Women In Super, which advocates for better retirement outcomes for women, has celebrated the stand taken by the super industry against domestic violence and for the rights of women, at the Women in Super, NSW, Christmas lunch in Sydney last Friday (December 2).
The event, attended by more than 480 people from various facets of the industry, was a testimony to the strides taken by the organisation and similar lobby groups to close the gender gap on retirement savings and create a fair and equitable industry for women to participate.
Sandi Orleow, Women In Super, NSW, chair said that it had been a successful year for the body and applauded the great strides taken by the industry in support of women. “[The year] has been another great year for Women In Super. Our membership and community has continued to grow and strengthen,” she said.
“In NSW we’ve organised a number of lunches and training events for our members, but also for the boards of men and women in the superannuation industry.
“These [events] have provided opportunities for learning and training featuring the likes of Fiona Trafford-Walker talking to us about the future of asset consulting, Danielle Press talking about building resilient organisations in today’s times, member training on developing personal resilience and speed venturing with senior market leaders.”
Women In Super organised more than 50 events nationally in 2016 across a range of super-related topics including an increase to the Super Guarantee, retention of the Low-Income Super Contribution (LISC), the impact of domestic violence on retirement savings and the inclusion of super in a paid parental leave scheme.
The organisation has attracted some of Australia’s most influential women to speak to and represent the women in Australia’s super industry, including Rosie Batty, the domestic violence campaigner and Australian of the Year, and last week’s speaker, Naomi Simson, CEO and founder of Red Balloon, who is also a ‘shark’ on the Australian television series ‘Shark Tank’.
“When I see others who enter ‘the tank’ one of the things I look for is passion,” she told the bumper audience last Friday. “Passion you cannot fake. It gives off energy, it’s something you truly think, but sometimes we get thwarted in our passion because things get in the way. Things like fear.”
Simson said: “What I want you to look at and reflect on is what stopped you getting the things you wanted to get done in 2016. If that is fear, or not being able to stand up, or say what you needed to say, or be the leader you need to be in your community, then I ask you to get ordered, because 2017 for Women In Super is about being fearless.”
As an ongoing commitment Women In Super and Rosie Batty advocate for the Super Charter Addressing Domestic Violence, launched at the Women In Super 2016 National Roadshow in August. A total of 17 super funds and seven industry organisations have signed the Charter with others currently progressing the matter within their organisations.
“We’ve also been privileged to have Rosie Batty as our national road speaker this year,” Orleow said. “Now if any of you were there [at the Roadshow] and heard Rosie speak, you would have been moved by her story and her determination to keep domestic violence on the national agenda.”
The Charter has been signed to date by: ACSI; AIST; AustralianSuper; CareSuper; Catholic Super; Cbus; Energy Super; Equipsuper; ESSSuper; HESTA; HostPlus; IFS; and, Industry Super Network.
For more info on Women in Super: http://www.womeninsuper.com.au