The Future of Women’s Economic Empowerment

The Future of Women’s Economic Empowerment

This article is part of our new series titled
‘Future Brands’ which centres on global
forecasts,
trend insights and category challengers.

 

At Smack Bang, we believe women
with wealth will change the world.  

It’s time we change the narrative around women’s financial wellbeing. The current conversation typically centers around getting by on maternity leave, protecting your family, setting yourself up for retirement, and patronisingly so, curbing spend on lattes, long lunches and high-heels.

Fuelling this archaic conversation is an economic system that is currently stacked against women. And whilst there is much progress to be made to conquer the unfair barriers that prevent radically true wealth equity, we choose to remain hopeful that the future of women’s financial wellbeing is bright. 

Why? Well it’s simple really. As philanthropist Melinda Gates has said, “As women gain rights, families flourish, and so do societies. That connection is built on a simple truth: Whenever you include a group that’s been excluded, you benefit everyone. And when you’re working globally to include women and girls, who are half of every population, you’re working to benefit all members of every community. Gender equity lifts everyone. Women’s rights and society’s health and wealth rise together.” 

The latest Women’s Financial Wellbeing Guide from Commbank shows that females are less likely than males to be taught about investing and saving from an early age, meaning overall women have lower levels of financial literacy than men — This systemic inequality begins at a very young age and plays out well into retirement. In Australia, women retire with an average of 35% less retirement savings than men yet, live longer than men – 87.3 years to their male counterparts, at 84.6 years. Running concurrently to this is the fact that men lead 91% of Australian financial service companies,* and are therefore deepening the disparity of a system that is so obviously designed for the benefit of men, rather than all. *WGEA, 2020

Clearly, it’s time for a whole new set of rules.

Enter stage left: Verve — An ethical super fund tailored for women, by women who are fronting this change. 

The reasons behind the ‘retirement super gap’ are complex, and require dedicated attention to solve. That’s why Verve focuses 100% of their resources, services and attention to building the wealth and financial power of women. 

The decisions we make when we choose our superannuation funds have far-reaching implications beyond our retirement. Where you invest your super is a vote for the future you want to retire in — the world you will pass on to the next generation. To put it simply, it is your legacy. 

It’s estimated that by 2030, super funds will own half of the companies on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). It’s also estimated that by 2025 Australian women will hold 1.5 trillion in superannuation. So, depending on where women choose to place their (super) power, our future could look vastly different. 

With this in mind, we like to think that we’re on the precipice of real, systemic change.

A brighter future begins with better news, and the good news here is that despite women only controlling 32% of the world’s wealth, women are amassing greater wealth than ever before, and according to BCG – Consulting group that share is likely to grow significantly in the years ahead. ‘From 2016 to 2019, women accumulated wealth at a compound annual growth rate of 6.1%. Over the next four years, that rate will accelerate to 7.2%. BCG’s analysis finds that women are adding $5 trillion to the wealth pool globally every year—faster than in years past.’

The future of women’s financial empowerment also promises an overall increase in GDP. As World Bank reports, “If we simply assume that women would earn as much as men. This is about twice the value of GDP globally. Said differently, human capital wealth could increase by 21.7 percent globally, and total wealth by 14.0 percent with gender equality in earnings.” We think Melinda Gates was certainly correct when she vowed, “If you want to lift up humanity, empower women. It is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings.”

Empowering women has been the core pillar and driving ambition for Verve since their launch in 2018. 

Since then, Verve has grown a dedicated community throughout their progressive attitude and pragmatic approach towards financial wellbeing. Typically, rather than focusing on the customer experience, financial institutions tend to develop their products to meet their own internal processes and operational efficiencies, only then do they think to put a pretty wrapper on the product and invite consumer connection. 

Verve recognised that ‘brand’ isn’t purely design. It stems from a deep understanding of the people whom you’re designing your product and services for. Good design adds a human element that allows for empathy with the end user.

Considering this, they approached us to redefine their brand positioning and refresh their visual identity in a way that inspires and includes their diverse member community. Individually and collectively, we hold the power to build a better, brighter future. Our creative team was led by these notions of power and strength —  

“We reimagined Verve’s branding and collateral to represent the spectrum of their customer base. Bold in its messaging and newsworthy in its appearance, Verve Super calls on women to usurp their super power. Disruptive and demanding of attention, the brand we built represents a rally-cry for intergenerational equity.” 

A visual language was created that cuts out the noise, and elevates what’s truly important. Brand Designer, Imogen, describes the core brand colour palette as “uplifting and energising — modernising the corporate-blue into a versatile and compelling palette of violets and teals.” An imagery selection that focuses on community is fostered, with real-life customers featuring as the subjects. 

Across every touchpoint we’ve delivered Verve Super a brand that, as Imogen articulates it, “Energetically transmits their vision for women’s economic empowerment – which in an industry of traditional and spiritless products, refuses to be ignored. Powerful and honest, the Verve Super brand intends to defy traditional super funds, and give women the power they truly deserve — control of their future.”

View the Verve Super project here.

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