Why We Need To ‘Invest In Women’ All Year Round

Beyond International Women’s Day, five practical ways to create change in our businesses and lives, for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Emma Bowdler | The Women's Accountant

Emma Bowdler

I’m a cheerleader for women and an accountant bursting with personality. 

At The Women’s Accountant, we will take any and every opportunity to shout from the rooftops about how much we love women and everything they are achieving, in the business world and outside of it. So, whether it’s International Women’s Day (IWD) or not, you can find us supporting, cheering on, and boosting women and their businesses, loudly and proudly.

However, around this time of year, our newsfeeds, inboxes and media become ‘purplewashed’ with companies sharing how much they care about women, only to go remarkably silent on issues of gender equality for the other 364 days of the year. In the words of Maggie McGrath writing for Forbes:

“Though it’s a day ostensibly dedicated to shining a light on the work of women around the globe—and a day for recommitting ourselves to making the world a fairer, more equitable place for women of all races, religions and backgrounds—IWD has morphed into something far more commercial.”

Although International Women’s Day brings up some mixed feelings for many of us, we still think it’s an important date to celebrate and acknowledge those who’ve come before us, and those who’ve worked so hard and sacrificed so much to fight for the rights and opportunities that many of us enjoy today.

Building on the momentum created by this year’s IWD theme ‘Invest In Women: Accelerate Progress’, let’s look at some practical and meaningful ways to create the kind of future we all deserve, including how we’re making it our business at The Women’s Accountant.

What ‘Investing in Women’ Is *Not*

 

We will say it ‘til we’re blue in the face, but investing in women is *not* an act of charity. It’s *not* about ‘tokenism’ or ‘political correctness gone wrong,’ whatever that is.

Investing in women is *not* a seasonal trend, or a checkbox for corporate social responsibility reports. This is not about superficially hiring women into roles with no power or decision-making authority. And it’s certainly not about plastering our walls with inspirational quotes, and lining our stomachs with cupcakes, while maintaining a status quo that stifles women’s careers and pays them less.

It is not a temporary or superficial measure, but a long-term commitment to changing the status quo. It’s about unleashing potential and driving sustainable growth. It’s a smart and strategic decision. And it’s about recognising and valuing the unique and diverse perspectives and skills that women bring to the table.

Why We Need To ‘Invest In Women’ All Year Round

“Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights across all aspects of life is the only way to secure prosperous and just economies, and a healthy planet for future generations.”

 

— UN Women

We’ll say it a little louder for those in the back: enough with performative actions that lead nowhere! Real investment means systemic change, not empty platitudes or temporary fixes. It’s about dismantling the barriers, not decorating them. And it’s about making it a core part of what it means to do business and do good in the modern world.

Investing in women is no longer a ‘nice to have’, if it ever was. Instead, it’s about doing what’s necessary to create a more just and equitable world, for everyone. Because progress for women benefits us all.

What’s Possible When We Properly Invest In Women

You might have heard the stat that women typically invest up to 90% of their income back into their families and communities, compared to 35% for men. Investing in women is the very definition of making your dollar go further.

Yet beyond the monetary value, when we invest in women, we’re not just supporting an individual; we’re nurturing an ecosystem that fosters growth, innovation, and resilience.

When we genuinely invest in women, we unlock a future where economic growth and social progress fuel each other. This isn’t hypothetical; it’s historical, empirical, undeniable. When women rise, societies flourish.

Investing in women isn’t just right; it’s smart, it’s strategic, and it’s long overdue. It’s time not just to level the playing field but to change the game entirely. Shall we look at how?

Why We Need To ‘Invest In Women’ All Year Round

Five Ways We Can Meaningfully Invest in Women

We’ve had a little bit of a think about it, and here are five ways we can all invest in women, through our businesses and in our lives. We’ve also given you a hint to how we do it at The Women’s Accountant, because no one needs to hear from another business who’s all talk and no action.

1. Spread the Knowledge, Boost the Wealth

Hoarding knowledge, opportunities and resources has been a key tactic of those who benefit from the status quo. One way to combat that is education, and in particular—financial literacy.

The ability to understand WTAF is going on with your money is like having the keys to your own future. And when we demystify the world of finance (or any industry for that matter), we give women the confidence to make informed decisions, leverage opportunities, and navigate systems that were not designed with them in mind. This, in turn, allows us to build businesses on our terms, create wealth—whatever that means for you—and share those newfound riches for a new generation.

One way we do this at The Women’s Accountant is through our Biz Booster Masterclass Series, a bank of on-demand webinars designed to turn jargon-filled nonsense into actionable takeaways. It’s about giving women in business access to real-world Accounting, Marketing and Legal expert knowledge at a fraction of the price, so we can all go further together.

2. Procure From Women-Owned Businesses

When we choose to buy from women-led businesses, we’re not just making a purchase; we’re casting a vote for the kind of world we want to live in—a more equal one.

Prioritising women-owned suppliers, contractors and vendors can be a powerful statement of support and solidarity that helps contribute to a cycle of empowerment, where women’s success begets more success.

One way we do this at The Women’s Accountant is by curating and constantly adding to a ‘little black book’ of great women-run businesses that we are always willing to share. Wherever we can, we are choosing to work with, buy from, and collaborate with women-owned businesses; living out the very definition of a ‘women supporting women’ economy.

3. Foster a Supportive Network

The power of a supportive community is everything. A group of like-minded humans to pick you up when you’re down, to shout you out when you do something brave, and to call you in when you eff things up—it’s worth its weight in gold.

By creating spaces where women can connect, share experiences, and offer insights, we help to turn the ‘old boys club’ on its head. One way we do this at The Women’s Accountant is by growing and moderating a kick-arse community of women on Facebook, a place where we can all go to share our wins, ask our questions and stop the voices in our heads from getting any louder! We’re also part of a number of women in business communities like One Roof and Sharne Consulting’s Grow & Expand – Women in Business Breakfast Series, which keep us going, surrounded by like-minded humans.

‘Surround yourself with women who would mention your name in a room full of opportunities’.

4. Advocate for More Inclusive Financial Services

The financial landscape can often *seem* unwelcoming or inaccessible to women, and that’s because it is. Most of these systems from banking to superannuation were literally designed to keep us out, and they’re having trouble keeping up with the times. Like, it wasn’t until the 1970s that women could even open a bank account or have a credit card in their own name in Australia.

By advocating for more inclusive financial services, we’re not just calling for change; we’re actively working to dismantle these systems. It’s about creating a financial ecosystem that recognises and caters to the unique needs and challenges women face, ensuring we have the support and services we need from paying super on parental leave to insurance products that *actually* cover women for the reality of living in our bodies.

Beyond the obvious fact that we only work with women-run businesses, or businesses where women take care of the finances, one way we do this at The Women’s Accountant is by really tailoring our services to what women need and want, not trying to make them fit into our ‘version’ of what a successful business looks like. We are also frequently on the phone to banks, the ATO, super funds, and other institutions, advocating for our clients and making sure that they are given a fair go, regardless of gender.

5. Make Our Dollars Do Good

Every dollar we invest or spend carries the potential for impact. By being intentional with where we splash our cash—be it supporting ethical, women-led, and community-focused initiatives, or in a women-run superannuation fund—we amplify our collective power to effect change.

This is not just about spending or saving per se, but about aligning our actions with our values and goals. In this way, we ensure our money works not just for us, but for all humankind (including the planet we all share).

One way we do this at The Women’s Accountant is by donating regularly to Protea Place—an organisation that supports women and children experiencing domestic violence and homelessness. For every person who books an initial session with us, we donate the cost of that session to Protea Place, and look for any opportunity we can to promote their amazing work!

Why We Need To ‘Invest In Women’ All Year Round

Beyond a catchy slogan, ‘invest in women’ means recognising the deep and enduring potential in every woman and girl.

It’s about creating opportunities for women to thrive, not just survive. It’s about building a world where everyone, regardless of gender, can pursue their dreams and live a life of freedom and independence.
And it’s something we must do every single day, not just on March 8, in order to create the widespread change we all need.

As another International Women’s Day comes and goes, we hope you take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come, and what we still have to do — understanding what it looks like for you to invest in women all year round, and turning that intention into action.

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