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MEDIA RELEASE – Monday, May 4th, 2020 –

eS4W’s partner organisation, Financy, has released their Women’s Index for the March Quarter 2020 – Looking at the  impact of COVID-19  on women’s financial progress.

Key results 

  • The Financy Women’s Index rose by 0.4 percentage points in the last quarter to a revised 71.3 points.
  • The quarterly pace of progress is the weakest since September 2018 and the slowest start to a calendar year since 2015.
  • A slowdown in full-time employment growth among women and rising female unemployment relative to male weighed on the Index result and likely reflects the early impact of COVID-19 shutdowns and containment measures.
  • The Index shows that women are 32 years from achieving economic equality with men but this timeframe could expand depending on the long-term impact of COVID-19. 

Australian women are bearing the brunt of the initial economic impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as job cuts start to mount.

The scorecard of women’s financial progress, the Financy Women’s Index, recorded its weakest start to a calendar year since 2015 and rose by just 0.4 percentage points (ppt) to a revised 71.3 points in the March quarter up from 71 points in the December period.

The Index result for the March quarter means that based on the rate of progress, economic equality in Australia is at least 32 years away.

“For women, the risk is that some of the recent economic progress slides backwards,” said Joanna Masters Chief Economist Ernst & Young Oceania. “This is not because we care less about gender equality but reflects economic consequences and perhaps diverted focus,” she said.