Finance Minister Magnus Brunner focuses on financial education
Experts roundtable at the Federal Ministry of Finance on women and financial education; Women an important target group of the national financial education strategy
Under the title "Women and Financial Education" Finance Minister Magnus Brunner invited to the series of events "Financial Education in Dialogue" on the top floor of the Ministry of Finance. On the podium, Brunner welcomed the high-ranking experts Bettina Fuhrmann, university professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Andrea Herrmann, CFO of Wiener Börse AG and Valerie Hackl, Managing Director of Austro Control.
Against the backdrop of the problem that two thirds of all people at risk of poverty are women, the average pension amount for men is higher and the gender pay gap in Austria is 19%, an exciting exchange took place - on the one hand about significant differences between men and women with regard to financial education and, on the other hand, about possible solution strategies.
Finance Minister Brunner emphasised at the beginning: "They always say that you shouldn't talk about money. But isn't that exactly what we should be talking about in times of high inflation and price increases? Using money wisely is ultimately the basis for a sustainable lifestyle. With a good financial education, you can make well-founded decisions on daily consumer issues, manage better with your personal budget and also classify pension and savings products and use them for yourself. However, women often feel less well informed when it comes to financial matters. That's why it's particularly important to focus here in order to offset this imbalance. Our goal is for women to build greater self-confidence in financial matters and to feel fit and informed so that they can make their own sustainable financial decisions independently."
Career choice, career breaks, part-time and unpaid (care) work Bettina Fuhrmann spoke in her brief impulse lecture about the financial behavior of women, which differs significantly from that of men and pointed out that numerous reasons for the problems lie not least in the employment biographies: Career choices, career breaks and part-time jobs as well as unpaid (care) work all contribute to women being financially worse off than men.
Equities in the form of fund products as the form of investment with the highest returns Andrea Herrmann emphasised in her presentation that the problem is not that women have less financial knowledge than men, but rather that they have less financial self-confidence. This has to be improved. In addition to this, we have to relinquish the myth that investing is only for rich people or people who are particularly mathematically gifted. 50-100 Euros per month would be enough for regular asset accumulation. She recommended shares in the form of fund products as the form of investment with the highest returns.
Financial education already necessary in primary education During the subsequent discussion , Valerie Hackl pointed out that the topic of financial education is particularly important in primary education and that the parental home can also make a decisive contribution to this. The panellists agreed that it was therefore necessary to start with the youngest. Girls would get 20% less pocket money than boys. A basic economic education and comprehensive careers advice in school lessons are therefore necessary to accompany girls on their way to financial independence and to prevent poverty in old age.
Different stakeholders with a common goal In a concluding stakeholder panel, consisting of Doris Zingl from the Banking Association, Claudia Prudic from the wendepunkt association, Alexandra Wolk from Let's empower Austria and Fiona Springer from the Financial Market Authority There are other interesting impulses and suggestions - among other things, that financial education is not just about women investing their money, but rather about imparting information and knowledge so that women can make the right decisions. Especially now, in economically difficult times, it is more important than ever not to trust that the old-age provision comes from the partnership.
EU project National Financial Education Strategy The National Financial Education Strategy was launched against the background that Austria has some catching up to do in the area of financial education. The project to develop the national financial education strategy for Austria was carried out together with the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and with close involvement of around 50 national institutions (stakeholders) from the field of financial education. More information at: https://bit.ly/3WFZxVo
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