How we can improve the gender pay gap | Meggie Palmer, PepTalkHer

HOSTS Maddy Guest & Sophie Dicker|24 August, 2021

Meet your hosts

  • Maddy Guest

    Maddy lives in Melbourne, works in finance, but had no idea about investing until she started recently. Her favourite things to do are watching the Hawks play on weekends, reading books, and she says she's happiest, 'when eating pasta with a glass of wine'. Maddy began her investing journey when she started earning a full time income and found myself reading about the benefits of compound interest in the Barefoot Investor. Her mind was blown, and she started just before the pandemic crash in 2020. What's her investing goal? To be financially independent for the rest of her life, and make decisions without being overly stressed about money.
  • Sophie Dicker

    Sophie lives in Melbourne, and enjoys playing sport, and then drinking red wine immediately after finishing sport. She works in finance, but honestly had no idea about investing until her partner encouraged her to start. She says, 'my interest has only taken off from there - I find it exciting… I mean who doesn’t like watching their money grow?' Her investing goal is to build the freedom to do things that she's passionate about - whether it be start a business, donate to causes close to her, or to take time out of the workforce to start a family. Right now, there’s no specific goal, she just wants to have the freedom when she'll need it.

This year in Australia, the gender pay gap has increased to 14.2%. That’s a difference of $261.50 every week. 

One of the reasons we started this podcast was to try and improve gender wealth equality. This year, #EqualPayDay is on the 31st of August, and we want to take this opportunity to talk about the gender pay gap. To help us understand it, and what it means, we are chatting with the CEO and founder of PepTalkHer, the incredible Meggie Palmer. PepTalkHer was founded with the mission to close the gender pay gap by empowering women and educating some of the biggest companies in the world about the benefits of inclusivity. From why the the gap exists, to what you can do today to start shifting the needle – this chat is both educational and inspirational, and has a take away for everyone.

Keep track of Sophie and Maddy between the episodes on Instagram, or on TikTok, and come and be part of the conversation on Facebook with our You’re In Good Company Discussion Group.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Equity Mates Media and the hosts of You’re In Good Company acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today. 

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Maddy: [00:00:08] Hello and welcome to You're In Good Company, an investing podcast, striving to disrupt the norms in the finance industry body. And as always, I'm in some very good company with my co-host, Sophie. [00:00:18][10.3]

Sophie: [00:00:20] Hey Mads, I am very excited for today's episode because we are going to be shining a light on equal pay day. But before we jump into today's episode, we would like to acknowledge and pay respects to the one true people of the nation who are the traditional owners of this land. We pay our deepest respect to the elders past and present and to the next generation who we hope to create a different future for so much. Equal Pay Day is next Tuesday, the 31st of August. We are a week early, but let's get started to talk about it early anyway. And, you know, we're thinking about starting this podcast. You did some research and it's safe to say that we found a huge difference in the wealth accumulation between men and women. And it's pretty frightening and it's kind of what equal pay is all about. [00:01:06][46.5]

Maddy: [00:01:07] Yeah, I mean, the stats came out at the end of last week, so we really wanted to discuss on today's episode leading into Equal Pay Day. Unfortunately, this year the stats for the gender pay gap have gotten worse. Last year, the gender pay gap has been about thirteen point four percent, and this year it's sitting at fourteen point two percent. This was definitely, I think, somewhat expected because we have seen over the last 18 months or so that women have been disproportionately affected by covid. But I guess it's still sad to say the numbers in writing. [00:01:41][33.5]

Sophie: [00:01:41] Yeah, I know. Even though it's somewhat expected, it's just really hard to see that the needle is moving backwards. Maybe it wouldn't have happened if Covid hadn't happened, but it has. But as you've already mentioned, we're here today to bring some light to equal pay day. And the theme this year is 'What's your pay gap?' [00:01:59][18.1]

Maddy: [00:02:00] Yeah, so the Workplace Gender Equality Agency asking all Australians to ask #whatsyourpaygap in their workplaces and industry as a crucial step towards bridging this divide. [00:02:11][11.0]

Sophie: [00:02:12] So for us to get a little bit more understanding about what the gender pay gap is and diversity in the workplace, we have brought in a expert to help us understand where we're kind of at with the gender pay gap and the true impact of gender diversity when it comes to your investing returns. [00:02:27][15.4]

Maddy: [00:02:28] Today, we're speaking with Meggie Palmer, Aussie founder, speaker and journalist who is now calling New York City home. Having spent 15 years as a journalist and foreign correspondent in Europe, the US and Australia, Meggie has worked for many of the big names, including BBC World, Sandberg say Channel Seven, Channel Ten, Vogue and NewsCorp. Around five years ago, Meggie founded her business PepTalk Her with the mission to close the gender pay gap. Her business has come to be a trailblazer in gender equality, and Meggie travels globally speaking and helping some massive companies with retaining female leaders and diversity. We are so excited to have you on Meggie onto the show today. Welcome to you're in good company. [00:03:06][38.6]

Meggie: [00:03:07] Hello. I feel like I'm in great company with you, but I'm going to be fine. [00:03:10][3.6]

Sophie: [00:03:13] So maybe we start off with the same questions just to get to know you a little bit. The first being if you have a morning routine, what is it? [00:03:21][8.0]

Meggie: [00:03:21] Look, I'm a bit of a night owl, unfortunately, so I hate the mornings. So I sometimes don't stop work, like sometimes I don't get out of bed to eight or nine o'clock. In fairness, sometimes I do work till eleven, twelve, one or two sometimes. So that's my excuse. But when I do get up eventually I do. You know what? I'm just I'm just fine with it now. I'm like, do you know I'm just not a morning person. That's cool. So I don't put anything in my calendar until 10:00 unless it's like urgent. And I'll typically I'll do gratitude practise. So I'll go through three things that I'm grateful for. Then I'll have a smoothie. So I'll smash like a bunch of frozen fruits and spinach. It's fun to try and squash in a few veggies, so I sort of don't feel as unhealthy down there. And then like maybe four times a week I'll do Pilate's bit of reform parties. I love it. Nice. Yeah. [00:04:17][56.1]

Maddy: [00:04:18] And Meggie, who or what influenced you to invest. [00:04:21][3.0]

Meggie: [00:04:23] Oh, so I think do you know, I really only started investing I reckon maybe a bit under ten years ago or maybe like nine or ten years ago. So what am I now. I'm thirty seven. So probably when I was maybe twenty five, twenty six I kind of went through that like 'a man is not a plan realisation', not had ever thought that, but I was like no I really need like I'm not getting any younger, I genuinely need to like set myself up financially. So I started asking my mates from college. They were always like investing in dabbling in shares. And at the time I was too busy drinking and partying and I kind of thought that was nerdy losers. On reflection, the joke is on me. Crushed it with their investing, so I'm a bit behind the eight ball, but yeah, been super passionate about it since that point. [00:05:06][43.8]

Sophie: [00:05:07] Amazing. I love that. And if you were a stock or a company, who would you be and why? [00:05:14][6.4]

Meggie: [00:05:16] Who would I be? Oh, I don't know. Like I would. This is so hard, I, I would probably be. I love an ETF, love an ETF, so I would probably be like a really interesting ETF, you know, like a crypto ETF, or in emerging markets, like not a stock standard, boring one. I'd be a bit of a different kind of ETF with lots of different interests and different bits and pieces going on [00:05:43][27.7]

Maddy: [00:05:44] a little bit risky. [00:05:44][0.4]

Meggie: [00:05:46] Well, we can talk about that later. I don't think ETFs are very risky. I know what you're saying, maybe about the crypto ETF, but we can get into that a little later. [00:05:52][6.3]

Maddy: [00:05:54] So, Meggie, you grew up in Australia and you started your career in journalism, and today you live in New York. You founded your own business and you're working in Fortune 500 companies. So I'm really interested to know the story. How did you come to found PepTalk? [00:06:08][13.6]

Meggie: [00:06:09] Yeah. So I think, you know, like a lot of people who start businesses, right. For me, it came out of frustration and I was really pissed off, honestly. Basically, when I was a reporter, I had an experience where my pay and conditions were super different to some of the blokes. And I found out kind of accidentally and raised the issue. And basically they were like, cool, if you don't like it, you can quit or you can take us to court. And I was like, Oh, what? What? I didn't really think that's what they were going to say. And so I just couldn't quite believe that this was happening. I didn't really I thought the world was a very equal place. I was probably fairly naive, to be honest, but there we go. So I just was like frustrated from my experience. I found it very stressful. It gave me a lot of anxiety and things like that. And I was like, if I'm going through this. So I think of myself as a fairly confident person, fairly resilient, fairly resourceful. I was like, other people must be getting totally screwed over. And so I looked into it and of course, came to understand that the gender pay gap sits at around 20 per cent. It's much worse for people of colour, you know. And I was like, wow, I just didn't know. And so I became really interested in all of those issues and how we could kind of shine a light on it so that other people could be aware, so they could put systems in place so that they weren't as badly impacted as I was. [00:07:37][87.3]

Sophie: [00:07:37] So what exactly does PepTalkHer do? [00:07:40][2.5]

Meggie: [00:07:42] Yeah, so I own the company where mission driven social impact business and we're really focussed on closing the gender pay gap. So my dream would be to be unemployed and to be out of a job. Unfortunately, it looks like I've chosen a business that's probably going to be around for a while. So depending on what numbers you look at, it'll take anywhere from sort of 20 to 30 up to 200 years to close the gender pay gap. Right. When you look at it. Yeah, and so that that kind of sucks. But also on a practical level, it means a like all of us statistically probably earning less than our male colleagues. Right. On average. And so that means that we have less disposable income, we have less superannuation, we have less in retirement. And if you look at the the levels of population going into homelessness, women over the age of 50 are actually a growing group of people living on the streets in Australia. And so these are all kind of compounding flow on effects because of this inequality that exists. So anyway, we are all about closing the pay gap. We launched an app with Vogue a couple of years ago that helps you track your career success. So the PepTalkHer app is totally free. So an Apple and Android app, you can download it. And basically once a week it'll be like WhatsApp. Meggie, what are you really proud of this week? Or like Sophie, what have you done at work this week that you want to remember at pay review time? Right. So you kind of start to track all those successes because like, I don't know about you, but like I don't know what I had for breakfast or for lunch, like Wednesday. I like I just I don't know. I don't know. I couldn't tell, you know, what I had yesterday do dinner. I'm like going on and we're real busy and we're all like high achievers. And so we forget stuff that doesn't really matter because we just don't know if we'll need to recall it. And so the point of the app is to say, hang on, hang on, hang on, stop. Let's take a moment. What was that amazing podcast that you recorded? How many downloads did you get? You know, did you save the money, the company money here? Did you mentor an intern? Did you organise a company holiday party? All the little bits and pieces. Right. Add up to show your value to a company. Maybe you signed a deal with a client that was worth twenty thousand dollars, right? Maybe you identified something that meant that you kept the company out of the papers, which is a good thing, right? Depending on where you work, maybe you helped little Billy learn to read and maybe he'd been struggling for six months if you're a teacher, right? Look, these are all achievements that we should be proud of and that we should stop and smell the roses and kind of reflect on those successes and certainly remind our boss when it comes to performance review time. So, yes, we have like there's about sixty thousand women around the world in our community, which is awesome. And then, you know, the app's free. We run a bunch of free courses and stuff like that every quarter, and then we do a lot of work in-house with corporations. So Fortune 500, ASX, 200 companies. So like, you know, LinkedIn, Salesforce, HSBC, brands like that, Westpac, we do a lot to support them internally with their leadership pipeline to get towards 50 50 and also from a from an employee retention engagement and promotion perspective as well. [00:10:53][191.4]

Maddy: [00:10:54] Yeah, it's some amazing work. And I think a lot of those things that you highlighted around have the gender pay gap then leads to all of those sort of flow on effects. And I think that's one of the reasons why. So and I really want to start this podcast as well, because we do have such issues with the fact that wealth inequality and I think, you know, gender pay gap is one way that we can start and then we can really work towards trying to equalise that. And then investing is another way that we can kind of try and help to sort of bolster that wealth inequality. I guess we have got you on today because we want to shine a light on equal pay day. So I'm interested to hear and you did touch on a little bit there, what's the current state of the gender pay gap and how does that compare to sort of what the legislation says? [00:11:38][43.6]

Meggie: [00:11:39] Yes, I mean, technically, you're not you're not allowed to pay men and women differently, right. Technically, that's illegal. But here's the thing. You have to be able to prove that and you have to be willing to go to court and you have to get a lawyer if you if you think that's the case. Right. And so nine times out of ten people don't know that they're being underpaid and ninety nine point nine percent of the time, they certainly don't take legal action or take it to court. Right. So what that means is that because there's no transparency necessarily about pay and it's really interesting in Australia, pay secrecy clauses are legal. So you'll find that a lot of consulting companies or big financial services businesses have a clause in fine print in their in their contract that says you cannot discuss with your mates or your colleagues what you earn. Right. And I'm sure they have their reasons that they can justify. But what we know is from a from a quality perspective, when there's not transparency, inequality creeps in and starts to seep in. Right. And so let's say I work at a big financial services company and maybe I get paid very well. Maybe we might get my bonus. Might be like 40 or 50 grand, like a lot of money like Almight sitting next to me could could be getting 80 or 90 or 100k. Who knows. And I would never know because legally technically I can't actually ask them. Right. So it's really it's kind of a grey area. And I think that, you know, I would love to see pay secrecy clauses addressed in Australia because in the United Kingdom and in the USA, they're not allowed anymore. You can't you can't do that anymore. And certainly America has taken it a few steps further. Say, for example, where I live in New York State, it's illegal for an employer to ask you what you use to get paid. So if I have a job and I don't give you a job, the recruiter cannot say, hey, Megi, what did you get paid at your old job? That's not allowed. [00:13:30][111.2]

Maddy: [00:13:31] And can you just elaborate on why that is? [00:13:33][1.9]

Meggie: [00:13:33] Yes, the reason the reason they've outlawed that is because if I've been underpaid and statistically as a as a white woman, I probably have been underpaid around 15 to 20 percent. So the gap in developed countries oscillates around 15 to 20 percent. But that's approximately the pay gap that we see. But if I've been underpaid for five years, 10 years, whatever, and then if I go to a new company and they say, hey, maybe what were you earning? And if I tell them they're going to benchmark my new salary on the old salary, that was probably 15 to 20 percent too low to start with. So even if they give me a bump, it's possible that I still won't even get up to parity where I should be for that role. Right. So by making it illegal to ask people what their salary was, it's sort of levels the playing field for the new company to offer a fair and reasonable wage and or for the person receiving the offer to negotiate and advocate for a higher a higher wage. I can give you an example. A friend of mine works in HR, in a very large company that a lot of you of your listeners would know. And she was hiring an amazing woman. And this woman said, I am really excited. I can't believe I'm in the final interview. You know, I'd love to be paid seventy thousand dollars. She offered up that information. My friend didn't ask, but she said I'd love to be paid seventy thousand. And my friend said, Well, I am going to offer. You the job today, and just so you know, we've budgeted eighty seven thousand dollars for this role, so that's what you'll be paid. And this woman was like was because she was only on 60 grand, as it turns out, at her old job. So she thought I was a heap more, which it is. Right. But actually, she was a woman of colour. She was a single mother and she went to university later in life. Right. And so these factors, we know, contribute to the gender pay gap being even bigger for those groups of people. So she had historically been underpaid for a very long time. And it wasn't until she went to a really values aligned company who was really transparent and open with pay, that she realised just how big that gap had been previously in her career. So it's really interesting. Anyway, we don't you know, that's not the case in Australia. Yes, I hope that the legislation gets there. But it's important for everyone listening, men and women to understand that this gap does exist. Right. And I'm not saying this is anyone's fault. I'm not saying that employers are bad humans, that they do it on purpose. Like, most of the time that's not the case. But when we look at the data and we look at why does the gender pay gap happen, like where does it come from? Right. Like it's like what what is this statistical analysis if you break it down to let's just break it down. Right. So there's three major factors. The first factor is jobs that are historically overpopulated with women typically are paid less. So, for example, childcare workers, teachers, things like that, versus people working in banking. So, you know, we typically see women and nursing, for example, is these lower pay than other medical fields. Right. But we know that there are more women in nursing than in other than in other areas. Right. So the types of jobs that women are more likely to gravitate towards are typically paid less to start with. Right. So society is, for better or worse, valuing a lot of the work that women do less then than the roles that are dominated by men. So that's the first reason statisticians can kind of pull that bit out and they can account for that and then the like. OK, we've taken that out. There's still a gap. OK, so what's causing the rest of the gap? So the other thing is time out of the workforce, right? So childcare responsibilities, caring for elderly relatives, things like that. That's another factor that contributes to this gender pay gap that we see. So, again, very smart data. Scientists can take that out. They can say, OK, we can account for that. Let's put that to one side now. What's left? And even when you account for both of those factors, there is still a gap. There is still a gap. And even like if you look at graduate salaries, for example. So if we hypothesise that most people when they graduate graduate university, most people don't have children, most people at that point have not taken time out of the workforce. Right. There is still a gap there. And so, you know, again, when we when we account for those two factors, there's still a gap. And the third part of the gender pay gap is unconscious bias and discrimination. Right. So that's that's the part of the gender pay gap that I'm particularly interested in. So there's, you know, that's going to take generations to change. Right, because it comes back to the stereotypes of the way that we're raised as children. You know, a little messages that we got from advertising and from books and things like that as kids that our parents got from their parents. So there's the kind of ripple effect that that comes through. So that's going to take ages to change. But what we can change is our awareness of the fact that this is a challenge that most of us will experience in our career and how we therefore approach negotiating, advocating for raises and promotions. Right. Like we should we shouldn't have to do that to close the gap. But it is what it is. Right. And it exists. And so I'm not going to sit around and wait 200 years for that gap to kind of close on its own with good time. I'm really interested in accelerating the closing of that pay gap. And so that's why I started to occur. And that's why we work with professional women to help them advocate and negotiate for a heap more money. And, you know, it's pretty wild. Some of the raises that people have got from working with us. [00:19:08][334.7]

Sophie: [00:19:08] I'm pretty curious, like we're talking about the fact that we can't really speak about the money that we're making in the workforce. And the work that you're doing is really about kind of is the approach that you can ask for more money whilst you're already in a job. But when you are in that job and you're getting a certain amount of money, how do you know whether you're being paid less or not? Where can you source this kind of information when we're literally told not to talk about it? [00:19:31][22.9]

Meggie: [00:19:31] Yeah, and I will say, look, a lot of people don't have those clauses in their contracts, right? So some people work in companies where salaries super transparent most. Well, a lot, I should say. A lot of companies these days have pay bands. Sometimes if your company works with the union, the union will often publish it openly. Sometimes you can find it on your intranet. Government salary bands are typically very transparent, but it's interesting when you get. To the executive level, sometimes that transparency disappears, right, and that's a whole nother story in and of itself. So not at not everyone has that. Also, people listening today can take a look, have a look at your employment colours and see what it might be in there that it might not be in there if it is in that there's some ways around it which we could talking about. But it's not in there. I say to people, but you've got to start talking about money. And I know this is you know, this is what your podcast is all about. Sofiane Mattey. Right. Like, it's we need to stop demystifying this notion that it's weird or awkward or rude to talk about cash because like, the reality is money is making the world go round for better or worse. So, like, we can just, like, bury our head in the sand or we can kind of confront it face on. And one thing that I always like to say to people is, you know, it's one thing to say to John, who sits next to you. Hey, John, what are you earning? Bit awkward. But if you trust John, if you respect John, if you know that he has your back, if you've got a great relationship, you could say, hey, would you be down for coffee or could we do a Zune call or something? And then I always like to phrase it in terms of ranges. So, hey, John, I'm going for this marketing manager role, obviously, to be promotion and hopefully a pay raise. I just wanted to talk to you about what you would expect. I should be paid for that role. Is there a range that you think is fair and reasonable for that role? For me, right. Because John has his own set of expectations of maybe what he was paid or what he would expect to be paid in that role. So when you say to people a range, sometimes it's easier or you could say, listen, John, I'm going for this new role. I was thinking it should sit around 60 to to 70. Okay. Does that feel about right for you? And he might be like, girl, definitely not go for a boss. Like, who cares? Or you might be like, yeah, you'll never get more than 50 that's taught in that role. Like it's never going to happen. Or he might or he might be like, well, listen, this is what I had as my manager. I got this bonus. Like, sometimes people are really down to be super open and sometimes they're not. But if you can kind of catch it in a way that kind of lets them sit where they feel comfortable, that's that's really helpful. And also, you can talk to your mates super openly about it. There's heaps of resources online. We've got a heap of resources that people can download as well. If you got a PepTalk.com/freebie, there's a heap of resources there as well that have different websites that you can look at. There's a company in America called Buffa B USFSA. They they publish everyone's salary. [00:22:29][177.3]

Sophie: [00:22:33] Might be a bit like Glassdoor? [00:22:34][0.5]

Meggie: [00:22:35] Except here's the thing with Glassdoor, it's sometimes Glassdoor will say, you know, for a marketing manager, people got paid between forty five thousand and one hundred and forty thousand dollars. And sometimes that's not really helpful because you like what what do I do that sometimes the rainbow name is super broad and it can be almost like it depends. Sometimes it's helpful, but sometimes it's not. The good thing that I like about BofA, albeit the salaries are in US dollars. But what I like about it is it gives you the salaries today. And you know, the tech company in California, this is what they pay in New Orleans. This is what they pay in Chicago. This is what you're paying. So you can, like, blatantly look that up. Yeah, right. So that's kind of helpful, too. But yeah, on that on that website address that I gave you, Petrenko, dot com forward slash freebie, there's a heap of other resources there that people can check out, too. [00:23:24][48.5]

Maddy: [00:23:32] So Meggie, PepTalkHer has two key goals and that sort of one of them is helping corporations to achieve gender diversity and the other is to help women to supercharge their career, starting with corporations. Who are some of the companies that you've been working with and what kind of work you actually doing with them? [00:23:52][19.5]

Meggie: [00:23:53] Yes, we have a large partnership globally with Salesforce, which probably some of your listeners will know their technology customer relationship management software company. We started working with them in America and now proudly work with them and starting to they're awesome. And they have a real value, like they're very open about gender equality. They do pay data analysis every single year. So they benchmark salaries for everyone in the company every year to make sure that there is no pay discrepancies. So we work with their women's employee resource group and we do a lot of work with hypertension programmes at the local banks, asset managers and a lot of technology companies as well. So typically they're like employers of choice who are interested in proactively recruiting, retaining and then promoting diverse talent into leadership roles. [00:24:41][48.1]

Sophie: [00:24:42] Have some pretty amazing work. I guess one of the things we want to know, because we talk a little bit about gender lens investing, is when you're working with these kind of companies, we have shareholders who have vested interest in the company's performance. So from an investing perspective, why are companies engaging with PepTalk and what kind of results are you saying? [00:25:01][18.6]

Meggie: [00:25:01] You know, it's really interesting when you think about what companies are doing. So a lot of the larger companies these days like actively trying to improve their supply chain. And so they're looking at, you know, who are the external lawyers? Who are the external service training providers like Tik-tok, who are the catering vendors that we're using? Are they women owned? Are they owned by people of colour? Are they indigenous owned? Are they owned by veterans? You know? And so there are increasingly procurement programmes. So if there's any small business owners or large business owners listening who who are running businesses as a woman or as a minority, like definitely I would say look into procurement programmes because they're super interesting and these companies are actively looking to support minority owned businesses. And what's really interesting about women owned businesses, we have not taken any venture capital. I've bootstrapped the business myself. But for companies that do receive investment, we know that when there is a female founder, they return more than 30 percent more return on investment than founding teams with just men. And yet we still collect, you know, funding like it's the statistics are disgusting. It's less than 10 percent last time I checked, like it's so bad. And again, it's much worse for people of colour and women of colour. Raising cash, particularly more than a million dollars, is almost impossible, which is so wrong in twenty twenty one. Right. It really makes my blood boil. So we know that women owned businesses are returning more investment and are returning a higher return back to investors. And yet we're still not getting the cash. So we're starting to see that change slowly but surely. But, you know, never quickly enough for me. [00:26:36][94.9]

Sophie: [00:26:38] Why do you think that is? Why do you think that women led businesses are returning more on average to invest? [00:26:42][4.7]

Meggie: [00:26:43] Because it's the same reason that you see companies with women on the board. When there's women on the executive, there's a higher net profit. Right. Harvard Business Review published a study on this not long ago. And it's I think it's because when you have diverse opinions, you brainstorm better, you problem solve better. You think about problems from different perspectives. You need men and women in the room. Right, because men young at heart value, of course they do, as do women. But when you're missing a piece, when you're missing those diverse voices, it can be a bit myopic, you know, just a bit of like the same old, same old. And you're not kind of creatively thinking or thinking outside the square. So, you know, there's been a heap of studies done that shows that there's value in having women involved in leadership positions and at the board level, like it's not just to feel good, like, yeah, let's go for quality. It's like if you're a capitalist, if you own shares, if you would like a high return, you should be in favour of equality because you're going to make more money. Right. So it's not this is not a feel good guy. Let's be nice and include women and close the pay gap. It's not bad, but yeah, let's do it because there's going to be trillions more in the economy globally. And that's exciting because that means more jobs, more investment, more opportunity for people to get out of poverty. So, yeah, I kind of I see it as a as a as something that all capitalists should be interested in. [00:28:01][78.5]

Maddy: [00:28:02] I think the other part of what you do at PepTalk in the helping women to supercharge their careers. And I just want to talk about this for a little bit because we are still experiencing a global pandemic and we know that that's had a huge effect on all of us, including our finances and our careers. But what have you observed when it comes to the impacts of covid and I guess on women in particular? [00:28:23][21.3]

Meggie: [00:28:24] Yeah, I mean, look, it's been a, you know, sending thoughts to everyone who is struggling right now who might be in lockdown or who's had an impact on their business finances in their family. You know, it's been tough for everyone. And in particular, again, this data, McKinsey's done a huge study on this, particularly for women, because there's a lot of that unpaid labour that is disproportionately falling to women. And with schools closed in many areas, in many countries, no childcare available in a lot. And a lot of situations like I don't have children and I cannot imagine I cannot imagine how those families have coped. And so we've seen, particularly here in the United States, has been a lot of studies that have shown that women are dropping out of the workforce at an alarming rate. It's really concerning to the point where, you know, it's done a lot of the fabulous progress that we've made in recent years. So it's a huge concern. And I think, you know, it's going to come back to the fact that the government's going to need to step in and and provide those support opportunities and think about when they're closing down things, when they're categorising essential services, thinking about are we thinking about this with a gendered lens. So, for example, construction for a lot of Covid never had to shut down, which again disproportionately employs a lot of men. And yet we saw other sectors that disproportionately employ women that were shut down. And so, you know, it comes into play in all these small little they're not small, but there's lots of different instances. And when you put them together, it adds up to be a huge challenge that we're all facing collectively. And so, you know, the good news is that there is some hope. And I think that people, particularly people who are working in professional industries that haven't been hugely impacted by covid, we're seeing a lot of people still getting pay raises, still being promoted, still being able to advocate for themselves, even, you know, in times of a pandemic. We had one woman who went through our programme recently. She got one hundred and three thousand dollar pay rise and she actually. Sedney Yeah. So people are still getting raises. There's other people that are getting this three, four or five k extra of, you know, and sort of the range between. Right. Like ten grand, 30 grand. Someone got forty three thousand extra the other day so that you can still negotiate, albeit independent. You've got to take it into account. If you're working for Qantas right now, that's a tough sell, right, depending on your role. Yeah, it's a tough sell. Having said that, if you work at a tech company that really has had no impact, if you're working in an industry that's doing fine, too well, you are still within your rights to to ask and to advocate for yourself. [00:31:09][165.0]

Sophie: [00:31:10] Yeah, this is such an important conversation. I think as we've highlighted throughout this episode, money can still be a bit of a taboo topic. And we just really need to be shining a light on being able to bring up that equal pay so that everyone sitting across the same level. And you're you've actually enlighted the passion even more to try and close that gender investment. So thank you. So, Meggie, we are moving into our segment, the watch list. So each episode we ask our guests to add a stock company, news story, industry trend, whatever tickles your fancy to our watch list. The purpose of this is to get us thinking outside the box and broaden our horizons in the investing space. But we are not financial advisors. This is purely for educational purposes and absolutely does not constitute any financial advice. [00:31:59][49.3]

Meggie: [00:32:00] Great disclaimer. [00:32:00][0.3]

Sophie: [00:32:01] So what are you bringing to the watch list today? [00:32:04][3.7]

Meggie: [00:32:05] So listen, I think I think it's something I talked to a friend of mine the other day. She earns a lot of money. I can't even tell you how much money she earns. It's disgusting. And so she's she's a pretty good saver. So she's got 750 K in cash. I'm one of the things he pays in cash, in cash, in cash, cash. And I was like, OK, it's like, listen, you know, what about investing? Like, it's just like I just I feel so much more secure when I have cash. So to anyone listening, I just want to say that I hear that and I understand that. And I think having a cash hedge is wonderful. But I also just want to hammer home the stuff that you all talk about all the time, which is, you know, with inflation and growth, if you keep that amount of money in cash, you're kind of going backwards. Like you'll get really sliding backwards and you're missing out on so much growth. Even if it's just four percent, three and a half, five percent like you are, you're missing it. And I'm still trying to sort of slowly but surely educate her on this. So listen, what I love honestly and this is the first thing that I bought I love an ETF. I love the ETF, especially if you're freaked out about risk stock picking, if you like. I don't know what to buy. Woolworths has dropped. So this is up. What do I do? Oh, my gosh. Just buy an ETF. They're so good. And if you look at that, just go and have a look at the grass. Look at the ten year graph, look at the five year graph and you'll see there's ups and downs. One hundred percent. But look at the trend. And if you believe in growth, if you believe in growth in the ETF that you're buying, then and if you're happy to hold. I personally love to hold. I typically. I buy things that I'm going to hold for less than 10 years, which some people disagree with, but I like to hold because there's highs and lows, you know, and I've had success through just holding through those bad times. I wish I'd bought more with Covid. I wish I didn't didn't have the have the chops to do that. So my first stock that I ever bought was STW, which is an Australian ETF, it's done OK. But an attack that's done really well for me the past 10 years is one called SPY which tracks the S&P, so it tracks the US. It's a basket of US stocks, so instead of buying a bit of Amazon, a bit of Wal-Mart, you can just buy, it's traded on the ASX. You can buy that. And it's just kind of going to give you growth. I've had I think I've had one hundred and fifty per cent growth over the last five or six years. Yeah, the other one I like is another ETF. It's a bit riskier, but I like it's called IXJ. It's a health care ETF. Yeah, I like that one Maddy because it's like I believe in health care and I believe in the growth of health care long term. And so that's why I buy that one, because I'm like it kind of gives me I've probably done pretty well the last two years, I guess probably because I'm assuming it held a bit of FISA, a bit of media and a bit of. Yeah. So I didn't have to stop stock and go out and buy this. I just love a basket. I'm sorry for the basket of shares. And the other thing that I do, because I'm pretty lazy unfortunately is I love Stockspot, it's a robo advice service which some people may or may not be aware of. And basically you just set up automatic debits and they take your cash and they go and they send it off into different ETFs and into gold and bonds. So personally, I like that because it's set and forget. I know that I'm getting growth and I don't have to stress and read the AFA every day and kind of figure out what's going to do super well. What I should sell, I just kind of buy with a view to hold. [00:35:28][202.5]

Sophie: [00:35:28] I love that you have a bit of both like you have your robo advisor because you know, you don't want to do everything. But then you also are doing your own thing, because I think that's the best way to learn. You need to have a little bit of skin in the game yourself. But like, you know, if you've got all the cash to give away, then send it to stocks. [00:35:42][13.6]

Meggie: [00:35:44] But yeah, that's what I like. And listen, I've done some risky things, like I bought the first cannabis stock that listed on the ASX years ago. I bought a bit of that. I sold it within twenty four hours because I had bounced a ton. Yeah, I had a massive bounce. I think it was up 700 percent. Oh my God, I didn't have that much but like still. But I also listen, the other thing is I also hold a bit of crypto. I'm bullish on crypto long term personally. So I do hold a bit of that. [00:36:11][26.8]

Maddy: [00:36:11] Yeah, well, I'm going to hesitate to suggest that you should send your friend with seven hundred and fifty can add bank to this podcast because we might be able to help her with that. [00:36:17][6.5]

Meggie: [00:36:20] Yes, I know, I know. Bless and I and I think it's really common. Right, because you've heard the fears and maybe a mum and dad, dad financial adviser and lost everything. Maybe your parents had to sell the house, maybe your grandparents put it all on black and lost it. So you have this fear, this generational fear that we often inherit. And I get it. But I'm just going to say maybe keep 30 or 50 or whatever your number is in cash and put the rest. Yeah. In her instance, she's got so much cash. That's not a figure for everyone. But I'm just like literally doubled that I feel because I'm really that, yeah, she should be a millionaire and she's not because she's done nothing. I think inaction is a big problem that a lot of us face. So literally, like, if you're feeling like that just by a hundred bucks today, that's it. Just one hundred bucks, you know, and then I personally like to set it up on auto set and forget stocks. But you can do whatever you want. But just like do something, just do something, you know. [00:37:16][55.9]

Maddy: [00:37:16] So Meggie, as we come to the end of the episode, I would love for you to share with us if I want to find out more about you or PepTalk. Is there anything that you want to plug? [00:37:26][10.0]

Meggie: [00:37:27] Yeah, of course we'll listen. Like, you know, you can follow us on Instagram at Tik-tok. Send us a DM, say Hi. The app is Free PepTalk, her app on Apple and Android. Your PepTalk her that'll help you with your career tracking. We're doing it for a challenge. That's coming up. A free career challenge, which I highly recommend if you're just kind of like wanting to get things back on track, looking for a bit of motivation. Just five days. It's awesome. Amazing crew of a couple of thousand people that do it with us every quarter here. You get to me and sort of build that community so you can sign up there. It's PepTalk, dot com forward slash challenge. We'd love to see you there to help you get paid what you want. [00:38:04][37.1]

Sophie: [00:38:05] I'm sure a lot of people will be signing up. And what can all of us do today to start moving the needle? [00:38:11][5.9]

Meggie: [00:38:12] Listen, like, let's add a challenge. Like why doesn't everyone listening today go and have one conversation, flick a text tonight and say, hi, do you want to do a zoom coffee to talk about our career? Or, you know, text your brother and say, hey, can I give you a call tonight to talk about my pay or text your favourite boss who you worked with three years ago and be like, hey, I just want to can we do a cool I'd love to talk to you. About what? I think I should be abiding by this point in my career just starts talk about money to start to talk about it, start to help others who are coming after you and make sure that you always negotiate as well. [00:38:45][33.2]

Maddy: [00:38:46] Amazing. And, Meggie, a final question for the day. If you could give one piece of career advice to your younger self, what would it be? [00:38:53][6.8]

Meggie: [00:38:53] Oh, great question. I think, listen, my favourite quote is Leap and the net will appear. And I think that it's a really fun quote that you can apply if you're thinking about investing, but you're kind of freaked out. Do it with a small amount, just leap with small amount that you're happy to lose so that you can start to learn. And same thing if you're thinking about a career change or if you're thinking about asking for a raise, a promotion. The greatest things in my career have happened when I kind of leapt into the unknown and the net for me has always appeared. And so it's my hope that that'll be the same. Feel this today, too. [00:39:25][31.8]

Sophie: [00:39:26] Amazing. It's a bit like sink or swim. [00:39:28][1.4]

Meggie: [00:39:29] Totally. And, you know, PepTalk is here to help you as well. [00:39:33][4.5]

Sophie: [00:39:33] Yeah, amazing. Thanks so much, Meggie. We absolutely love chatting with you today. [00:39:37][3.5]

Meggie: [00:39:38] Such a pleasure. So great to actually meet you. Sophie, Maddie and 'Hi' to everyone listening... Thanks for tuning in today. [00:39:42][3.4]

Maddy: [00:39:43] Thanks Meggie [00:39:44][0.5]

Sophie: [00:39:47] Without a doubt. My favourite thing that Meggie said in that chat was inaction is an issue that a lot of us face. So if you are listening to this now and you still haven't made the jump into investing, not financial advice, but maybe just try a hundred dollars, like just put it in [00:40:03][16.8]

Maddy: [00:40:04] Leap and the net will appear! [00:40:05][0.9]

Sophie: [00:40:06] I loved that! Cause inaction, I totally I can, I can relate to that because I say, you know, some friends and family or whatever else and they just haven't jumped in yet. Just 100 bucks do it. [00:40:17][10.4]

Maddy: [00:40:17] Just do it [00:40:17][0.4]

Sophie: [00:40:19] Not financial advice. [00:40:19][0.2]

Maddy: [00:40:20] But thank you so much for joining us on today's episode. Meggie was such a delight. We hope you enjoyed her company just as much as we did. As always, follow us on Instagram. We'll be sharing some of the resources that maybe you chatted about on the podcast today. Same with our Facebook group. So what is it? [00:40:40][20.3]

Sophie: [00:40:42] YIGC Podcast Discussion Group. I guess I get so nervous. She shared a lot of amazing links. You know, they have the app as well. So we'll be sharing all of that on our social so that you can access any of that information as well. We will definitely be accessing it. Otherwise, you will hear from us next week. Here are you then. Bye. [00:40:42][0.0]

[2360.5]

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