Fiona Fraser

Fiona Fraser, Marketing & Communications Manager, Napier City Council

What was your money moment?

I went to hear Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell speak at a function in 2015. I’ve seen a hundred presentations over my time, but this one struck a chord because she was speaking directly to women. She said that as women - many of us mothers - we engage in this negative internal dialogue about our worth.

We accept lower paid jobs than men, we don’t take good risks with the money we do earn, and instead we make cuts to our budget in order to save. But the greatest lesson was about negotiating salaries. Why, she asked, would you negotiate any salary that was lower than the one you currently earned? Would a man accept that? What happens, she explained, is that when a woman accepts a drop in her income level, for whatever reason, she will also experience a correlating dip in what she’ll have to live on in her retirement.

I carried her words with me, and doubled my employee contribution to KiwiSaver the next day. The next month, I turned down a great job offer  - knowing whole-heartedly that I was worth more.  And because I still want to drink champagne when I’m 80.