ANZ has launched a campaign aimed at addressing the barriers that prevent Australian females from having the same financial security as males.
The institution has embarked on a campaign designed to draw attention to the barriers which result in women earning significantly less than men during their lifetime.
As part of the campaign, ANZ has released a report – ANZ Women's Report: Barriers to Achieving Financial Gender Equity – which highlights many of the inequalities women face and the effects these have on their financial wellbeing.
Factors such as study and career choice, responsibility for care, and discrimination and structural bias in the workplace prevent women earning the same amount as men, and ANZ said this will leave nearly 90 per cent of women inadequately positioned for retirement.
Women earn on average $295 per week less than men, or $15,000 per year. Over a 45-year career, this equates to a difference in earnings of $700,000, the report said.
"The single most important reason many women in Australia continue to earn lower wages than men for similar work is because of their gender," the report said.
"Women entering their first paid job after university graduation earn on average four per cent less than men. This gender gap progressively widens throughout their careers and is most prominent in senior leadership positions."
The ANZ report also noted that while men and women may be discriminated against by their employer when looking for flexible work hours to assist with caring responsibilities, penalties for women are "much harsher".
As part of ANZ's initiative to address gender-based financial inequality, the bank has launched a variety of tools to help advisers better engage with clients and to help provide a more sustainable financial future for Australia's women.