Super women: “Sensible Money”

This International Women’s Day two of smartMonday’s finest female money masters investigate the theme – Balance for Better – and consider how a rebalancing in attitude can power a more prosperous financial position.

It’s a land of fire and ice. Volcanoes and glaciers. Summers bathed in nearly 24 hours of sunshine and winters cloaked in almost total darkness. Iceland is a country of complete natural contrasts.

In the global financial crisis, Iceland teetered on the precipice of an economic doomsday – spearheaded by the avarice of swashbuckling ego-driven investing.

Among the havoc of skyrocketing inflation, soaring interest rates and equally catastrophic unemployment was an opportunity - and one that women grasped in banking, politics and business. These rescuers of Reykjavik showed the power of rebalancing and the impact women can have when seizing change putting the country back towards the black.

Thankfully women rock. We now control more than 50% of the investable wealth in the US.

We’re an increasing financial force in other geographies too so we’ve got to start exerting our influence. If it’s one thing Australian women can learn from Iceland it’s that the time for sitting on the sidelines and hoping others will do the right thing is over.


As women we believe doing the right thing and attracting a reward are not mutually exclusive and we’re not alone. Studies show that up to 80% of women are interested in responsible investing. This is a good thing, because it promotes a long-term mind-set which ensures companies are more likely to pursue an equally drawn out time horizons and invest in research and development – rather than chasing short term yields.

Economic tools, maths and money don’t care about gender.  A little bit over the long term can really add up for anyone - so start your dive into a deeper financial understanding.

Every time we do financial presentations for smartMonday members we’re approached by women who they tell us they’re sitting on tens or sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in a low interest earning account. These women don’t feel confident in investing it, or taking a growth risk, or deciding about the best place to put it.

There’s not much to say except that – lost opportunity is crazy. Your HARD EARNED money is losing by you not making a decision, you might lose value in share volatility but over the long run index shares have an upward trend, property has an upward trend over the long term, so does Super. Don’t think about ‘timing the market,’ think about a long-term ‘time in the market’ mindset.

We get it we’re not expected to know what we don’t know so get in contact with a financial coach, do some research, read good books and empower yourself to DO something with your money. Take the reigns, take charge, make change.


International research conducted by Aon reveals nearly one in three global companies believe the most important objective for financial wellbeing is to reduce employee’s financial stress, with seven in ten of those organisations aware they should play a role in helping employees manage debt.

Okay…. That all makes logical sense, but brace yourself – here comes the knockout blow. That same research revealed that nine in ten had employees who weren’t taking up the financial wellbeing programs offered.

Let’s take a moment to let those statistics sink in.

Only ten in every one hundred companies have employees who are utilising programs to help them.

Don’t be the statistic be the outlier.

Be the one who is taking up programs to help you – we call this type of behaviour ‘Defender behaviour’ those who are in control of their money. Defenders find out what programs are in place and use them. Become a defender, find out how you can use Employer programs to benefit you. If there isn’t a program in place, talk to your employer – find out why not. The research is there. If your employer is serious about helping their people, they’ll want to make sure they have a framework in place.

smartMonday’s 8 Habits of a Financially Fit human is one such platform that helps employees start examining their attitude to money, to promote a pattern change that can have lasting impact.

Members of smartMonday can call our smartCoach for tips on their investments, insurance and contribution strategy. 1300 COACH 1 (1300 262 241).

Find out what is there, and use it to fuel change.

To explore more on the topic of Balancing for Better listen to our Podcast.


About the Authors

Shannon O’Shea

As a woman working in Superannuation for more than 15 years and having delivered countless presentations around financial fitness and wellbeing, Shannon is passionate about helping people make a change and closing the gap for women.

Shannon holds an MBA as well as a degree in Art History, Fine Art and Fashion and recently took part in the Women on Boards program.

Shannon is a Principal at Aon, leading the smartMonday Member and Corporate Services team. 

Janine Robertson

Janine holds a BA (Tourism Management).  

In 2015, she completed her Diploma in Financial Planning. 

Janine is currently completing a Certificate in Behavioural Economics and writing a book that will be released later this year.


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