As research indicates women continue to face systemic and societal barriers – especially post-pandemic -- to financial resilience, the Financial and Consumer Services Commission is aiming to develop targeted and data-based educational content to help them.
FCNB will be launching a survey and participating in an event later this month to better understand the financial vulnerabilities of New Brunswick women and to inform its educational direction.
“An important part of the work we do is to develop and conduct educational programs with respect to financial and consumer services,” says Marissa Sollows, director of Education and Communications at FCNB. “National research tells us gaps still exist between men and women that we want to better understand and take steps to address.”
During the pandemic, the economic challenges for women grew as many were forced to leave the labour force or reduce their work hours to manage their children’s schooling or other household responsibilities. According to Stats Canada, by the time in-person schooling had resumed, 70% of mothers were still working less than half of their usual pre-pandemic hours, and many have still not returned to work.
Improving the financial literacy of women is one of the many ways to help narrow the gender gap. With an understanding of the basics of personal finances comes the confidence to make a plan for the future and feel protected in the event of a crisis.
“Financial resilience is achieved when you have the skills, confidence and knowledge to make smart financial decisions in good times and bad,” says Sollows. “Due to the specific challenges that women face, a one-size-fits-all approach to financial literacy doesn’t cut it for them.”
On November 24th, in collaboration with Dialogue NB, FCNB will co-facilitate a discussion on financial resiliency and the gender-based challenges faced by women in New Brunswick: Women's financial resilience: When will the system be redesigned along gender lines?
FCNB is also undertaking a research project which will include a survey to learn more about the financial literacy needs of women in New Brunswick, understand their specific challenges and collect feedback on the quality of current programs.
“Women play a big role in our economy, accounting for 42% of income earned in Canada last year,” said Sollows. “We want to continue to see that number grow and we hope that participating in these activities will give us some insight into how we can help foster financial resiliency among women.”
New Brunswickers can follow FCNB on social media for financial literacy tips, or visit FCNB.ca to access their complete library of financial literacy resources, tools, videos and guides.