Money talks: The Financial Feminist podcast | HerCanberra

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Money talks: The Financial Feminist podcast

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As someone who spent 15 years at the ABC, and then went on to host a popular podcast, I’m obsessed with audio storytelling. So when a new feminist pod pops up, I’m all ears (forgive the terrible pun!).

A few days ago I stumbled across the “The Financial Feminist” pod. That’s right, it’s all about money. But it’s also accessible – great news for all those struggling with our financial literacy (me included.) I reached out to the host, Kate Crowhurst, to have a chat.

Who are you (and the team behind the pod)? What’s your background/interest in this area?

I’m Kate Crowhurst, and I’ve decided to start The Financial Feminist podcast to include more feminists of all genders in conversations about money.

My background is in financial education. I got incredibly interested in the topic when I was a young teacher, teaching in an environment of economic disadvantage, and during this time, I was facing my own money struggles learning about money in real-time as a 21-year-old. The one subject we never focused on at school was money, despite this being something I knew from first-hand experience would be crucial on leaving school.

I knew that financial literacy and access to it should not be left up to a parent or postcode lottery so I studied the subject, researched it, worked on programs and projects that made it more accessible and finally, with the support of YWCA Canberra and a Great Ydeas grant, started my own organisation, Money Bites to focus on financial literacy and financial education in Canberra. I’m incredibly grateful for YWCA Canberra for believing in me and giving me the community support to start that journey.

What gave you the idea for the pod? What’s the need you see for it?

The idea for the podcast been at the back of my mind since 2019 when I started writing about money for Money Bites and found myself wanting to write more about money from a feminist perspective. However, I also was very focused on staying in my lane and focusing on financial education rather than commentary, so ignored that gut feeling.

That has changed as my own life has evolved. Often, we can find ourselves giving in to that critical voice: you’re not feminist enough; what do you know about the sisterhood? Our ranks include Helen Garner, Grace Tame, and Carly Findlay. I would add to that brilliance so many feminists of Canberra I admire, from the campaigns of The Stop Campaign to running a social enterprise like She Shapes History.

The idea of not being feminist enough in your credentials is one of I’ve struggled with and I think it’s because we ascribe different meanings to it. But particularly in the past year, I’ve started to get more comfortable in who I am and articulating that no, I’m not those lauded feminists, I never will be.

Kate believes we don't have to give in to that critical voice - we don't have to be perfect feminists to make a contribution. Picture: Supplied

Kate believes we don’t have to give in to that critical voice – we don’t have to be ‘perfect’ feminists to make a contribution. Picture: Supplied

But in believing in equity, I am and always have been a feminist. What I have is the ability to quickly research a story and spotlight different people and issues. I have the empathy to hold space for other feminists to discuss finances without judgment and the curiosity to ask questions about the system we’re making decisions in and navigating. It’s something I would do with friends, including asking them if they were comfortable discussing money and holding space to discuss issues from pay negotiations to how they manage childcare while two people work full-time.

From what I have seen in recording the podcast, including the interviews we have coming up is that too many feminists might initially discount themselves from participation because they don’t perceive themselves as enough: They don’t know enough about money, they’ve made mistakes or they’re not as good with money as they’d like to be.

I want to (and do) say to them, ‘Yes, you are enough.’ We’re all learning and navigating a financial system that was not built for the lives we lead today and with structural barriers that are limiting progress.

That is something we need to talk about, and if you use money and are engaging in the economy, that includes you.

The need for The Financial Feminist podcast is to generate more conversations about money with feminists of all genders. We all use money, and it’s time we had coverage of the issue that made us sit up rather than choose to take a tea break or tune it out.

I’m also tired of the lack of acknowledgement about structural barriers that are actively limiting gender economic equity, particularly from an intersectional lens. One key example of this which affects many people is childcare availability and costs, which is immediately a barrier for people who need childcare access to be able to work. I want to address those barriers directly, discuss how they are being navigated, and address the changes required to remove them.

Why do you want to combine feminism and finance? What do you see as the relationship between these two things? (Why do we need to follow the money?)

Money represents power, opportunity, and freedom and yet a lot of coverage of the topic has people who are activists in their daily lives and in the community hitting the snooze button. By focusing on and centring feminism in our conversations about finances on the podcast, we immediately make the conversation more about structural change than numbers on a bank account. By actively including stories about politics, power and policy changes that affect women and non-binary people and unpacking the financial element of this conversation, we follow the money and power being wielded in a news story. We also open up space to have conversations about money and power more explicitly and with more of a focus on how decisions affect people in our community, a curiosity that is at the heart of intersectionality.

You’re a few episodes in and you’ve covered a quite a range of stories…from IVF to the Oscars to sexual assault at Australian universities and the gender wage gap. How are you choosing which stories to cover? What lens are you putting over the stories you cover?

The stories I cover all have a feminist and financial element. In terms of format, I’ll first outline the story but then explicitly look at the feminist lens and financial components to detail how people are being financially impacted by it. What I do differently is always to close coverage on an issue by highlighting what people can do as a next step. So often we hear a news update and feel information overload. Instead, it ends with an action focus that is constructive and highlights the work that is being done in our community by feminist individuals and organisations to address an issue.

What are you hoping listeners will gain from the pod?

If you want to expand your activism, learn from other feminists achieving some amazing changes in their community, or get more comfortable talking about finances and power, The Financial Feminist podcast is definitely worth a listen.

Is there anything else you want to say?

The podcast will be expanding in its focus, including incorporating interviews I’ve recorded with feminists across Australia. I also have an exciting update in the weeks ahead to engage with and highlight the experiences of feminists in Canberra so watch this space.

HerCanberra is a proud supporter of the BroadAgenda, Australia’s leading research-based gender equality media platform, published by the Faculty of Business, Government and Law at the University of Canberra.

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