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Below the Radar Transcript

Women, Work, More: Senior Women & Economic Insecurity — with Sheila Block & Jo-Ann Hannah

Speakers: Alyha Bardi, Melissa Roach, Kathy Feng, Jo-Ann Hannah, Sheila Block, Senior Women Interviewees, Paige Smith

[soft guitar music]

Alyha Bardi  0:12
Hello, I’m Alyha with Below the Radar, a knowledge democracy podcast. Below the Radar is recorded on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. You’re listening to Women, Work, More, a Below the Radar series looking to make work — work for women, across varying life stages & social intersections.

Melissa Roach  0:35
For this final episode of the series, we hear from Sheila Block and Jo-Ann Hannah in conversation with Alyha about retirement incomes through a gender and racial equity lens. They explore how pay gaps and gendered life-patterns influence income security for senior women.

Kathy Feng  0:53
We also hear from four senior women as they speak about their work-life trajectories, and the resulting money struggles, worries, or “lucks” they have now. We hope you enjoy the episode!

[guitar music fades]

Alyha Bardi 1:07
Hello everyone, welcome to Women, Work, More, a special series of Below the Radar. Really happy that you could tune in. Today I'm very excited to have Sheila Block and Jo-Ann Hannah with us. Sheila is a Senior Economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. And Joanne was the Director of Pensions at Unifor, Canada's largest private-sector union, and had worked with them for 25 years. Welcome, Sheila. Welcome, Jo-Ann.

Jo-Ann Hannah  1:35
Thank you.

Sheila Block  1:37
Thanks so much for having us.

Alyha Bardi  1:39
I'm wondering if we could begin by having you both introduce yourselves, your backgrounds in regard to old age security for seniors, and how you came into this space of work.

Sheila  Block  1:51
So I have a, I guess a checkered history. In working in areas around retirement. For almost 10 years, I worked in the research department of the Steelworkers Union. And while I was doing that, I was working on bargaining pensions and benefits across the country. And as a result of that I got familiar with pension legislation across the country, because some of its provincially regulated, some of its federally regulated. And I also became more familiar with the ideas around advocacy and around issues that were important to trade unions to increase access, and equitable access to pensions and retirement. I then left the Steelworkers and came back into the pension space during some policy debates about the expansion of the Canada Pension Plan, where I had the pleasure of working with Jo-Ann about that. And then I left that for a while and then came back and just in this recent research report, which I think we're going to be talking about shortly.

Alyha Bardi  3:05
And Jo-Ann?

Jo-Ann Hannah  3:06
Well, thank you. And I'm really pleased to be here. So as you said, I worked 25 years with Unifor. Like Sheila, I was negotiating with the employer for pension plans for our members, and Unifor had a very strong mandate to bargain good workplace pension plans. So in that process, I also learned a great deal about the retirement system for Canadian workers. And that was very rewarding. But Unifor also like the Steelworkers, where Sheila worked, recognize the limits of collective bargaining. And so we were very active in campaigning for better public pensions, the Old Age Security, the guaranteed income supplement, the Canada Pension Plan, and in Quebec, the Quebec Pension Plan.

Alyha Bardi  4:02
Thank you both for your introductions. Sheila, in yours, you briefly mentioned that you and Jo-Ann had worked together in the past, so I’m wondering if you can briefly tell me a bit more about how you know each other, and how you have collaborated?

Jo-Ann Hannah  4:17
Well Sheila and I met in 1990. We met at the Ontario NDP research department at Queen's Park, where the NDP was in opposition. And to add a little colour to that, I came out of a university and got this job working in politics, and I just felt so overwhelmed with preparing questions for questions, period, and you just have like, 10 minutes to do it. And so I was thinking that perhaps I should quit before they fired me. And so I looked at Sheila and she'd only been hired a few months before me and she was, you know, just so relaxed, so comfortable, so knowledgeable. So I took her aside and I said, “so Sheila how was it when you first started this job?” She was said, “oh, I went home every night and said they've made a terrible mistake. They should have never have hired me.” So from that moment forward, we both just got along really well. And over the years we've been good friends and good work. partners. And a lot of our work has involved women, and pensions, and unions, and political action. And so it's been a very good working relationship to me.

Sheila Block  5:37
I think another aspect of our relationship is that both Jo-Ann and I, for a period of time, were the only women in Canada who were working in that particular position of bargaining and pensions, added benefits for large industrial unions. And so the parallels of our experiences, some of them really positive, some of them challenging, really kind of created another bond between us and I had forgotten. I'd forgotten that. Our introduction, Jo-Ann, and I think I remember over the first few days, not sleeping all that night, and thinking we both made a terrible mistake - them in offering me the job, and me and accepting it. So.

Alyha Bardi  6:33
That sounds like such a wonderful bond that you both have developed, through your shared and similar work experiences. But getting into your research Sheila, in your recent co-authored analysis paper, Colour-Coded Retirement, you focused on retirement security and seniors’ poverty through a racial equity lens. So I’m wondering if you can briefly discuss the general findings from your paper, and more specifically, how senior women, and racialized senior women, have been comparably affected?

Sheila Block  7:06
So what my co-authors and I did in this research is, we looked at both the levels of retirement incomes from an intersectional perspective. And so what we looked at is we looked at racialized women and racialized men, including the three largest racialized groups in Canada. So that's people who identify as Chinese, people who identify as South Asian, and people who identify as black. And we also looked at Indigenous peoples, and again, broke that out into people who are Métis, people who are First Nations and people who are Inuit. And I guess the consistent result that we saw throughout in terms of retirement incomes, was that racialized and Indigenous seniors had lower incomes than white seniors, they had a higher incidence of poverty. And also, when you took an intersectional lens, you actually saw that across all those population groups, women had lower incomes than men did. Lower incomes at post-age 65. And I think I think I would call it retirement incomes. But one of the aspects that we were really looking at was, who could afford to retire at 65? And who was continuing working? And so I think what we saw was consistent gendered and racialized impacts were those seniors have lower incomes than white seniors across the board.

[musical transition]

First Senior Interviewee 8:51
So when I was 62, I retired. That was not really a good move. A couple people were retiring. But, and then I got kind of influenced by that I knew nothing about the financial end of it. They were in a different financial system than mem in that they own property, their wages were higher. And so for 12 years, I worked part-time and job shared, and just finished the end of June. And the reason I've been working too, up and I'm almost 75 — in a couple of months, is that I pay rent. I own no property. And my income is actually quite low,

Second Senior Interviewee  9:32
Well, I call myself semi-retired. I mean,  I do different gigs. I've got a grant now I'm working on a a virtual program for older lesbians and younger ones, too. 

Third Senior Interviewee  9:42
Maybe there needs to be looking at the circumstances of the impact of gender. Maybe that's the piece, the impact of gender, on a person's earnings. And I know this is also related to things like immigration, and race, and class and all of those kinds of things, which are also, which are also pieces of concern. But somehow there needs to be a different lens. 

[musical transition]

Alyha Bardi  10:15
And Jo-Ann, how do you see these issues play out on the ground for workers and retirees, especially for women and racialized women? What are the systematic factors creating these racial gender divides in senior security and poverty?

Jo-Ann Hannah  10:32
Yeah, the systemic factors are really important to this conversation. And pensions are based on employment earnings. And so those gender gaps that we see in during active employment, those carry into retirements. So we see women with lower pensions. And another factor is that women are more likely to be employed in sectors of the economy where the employer does not provide a pension, think about the service sector, caregiving, and most important that women are more likely to take time out of the workforce for family care, child care, elder care, and that caregiving negatively affects their pensions in retirement. So those are the key factors. There's others, but those are key.

[musical transition]

Second Senior Interviewee  11:31
First of all I’m 82, I still work somewhat. I've worked a lot of years, so there's a lot of different jobs, mostly administrative, a lot of times in offices in the last, you know, 30 years or so life. I worked a lot in the feminist and lesbian community,  a lot of the work that I did is I authored grants that gave money for us to do different various projects, and so on like that. 

Alyha Bardi  11:56
Do you have any pension coming in from previous jobs that you worked?

Second Senior Interviewee  11:59
No, no, because I've mainly created the jobs and found the funding to mainly for nonprofits and that kind of stuff. 

First Senior Interviewee  12:08
Since 1987, I worked for the Vancouver school board, as a Special Ed assistant — or some districts call it education assistant. And so prior to that, I did like want mostly work in hospitality. Well, all the income I've ever made in my entire life would have been lower than what a guy would have gotten. And generally they are jobs that guys don't want, but when it comes time for rent, they don't go well. You're making less or where you're paying less. Rent is rent, right?. 

Third Senior Interviewee  12:42
And then for us as a lesbian couple, because women always earn less than men. And so between the two of us who worked in community-based not-for-profits, our income was probably combined income was probably less than my father's income was. So there's, so there's a double disadvantage. So all of the work that I've done, all my life has been in the context of not-for-profits, in the community sector. And so pensions in that, you don't get any. So I have mixed feelings about it, but mostly about my financial situation, primarily, I know that the only reason that I'm reasonably comfortable at the moment, is because we had some help buying a house and we were able to pay for that house at a time when you were still able to do that in Vancouver.

[musical transition]

Jo-Ann Hannah  13:47
In preparing for this, I looked at the most recent Statistics Canada figures on pension plan coverage. And it shows over the past 10 years, women and men are actually coming closer in pension plan coverage. But there's no celebration to be found in the statistics because, in fact, women are slightly ahead of men in pension plan coverage. But the reason is that pension plan coverage has declined for men and women overall. And that it's particularly strong in the private sector. So it's not like women are gaining, it's that men are losing ground. And if you think about those years, when unions were able to negotiate good manufacturing industrial pensions for predominantly men, those days are diminishing. And so now men are losing ground at a more rapid rate than women in their private-sector pension coverage. So today, only 25% of workers in the private sector have a pension plan. So employers are showing, they don't want to provide pensions, they don't want to provide them to women, and they don't want to provide them to men either.

Alyha Bardi  15:12
Yeah, and that closing gap due to losses in men’s sectors of work is certainly a byproduct of neoliberalism and capitalism, and just this drive to maximize profit rather than a drive to meet the needs of employees. But kind of working on that strain of reducing private-sector pensions, I’m wondering Sheila if you could explain the significance of receiving a pension from public compared to private sources? 

Sheila Block  15:41
I think I want to echo what Jo-Ann said, which is that your pension income is really a reflection of both your privilege and your marginalization throughout your working life. We know that if you're a higher income earner, you have more capacity to save privately, because you have extra income. We also know that if you're in a higher quality job, you are more likely to have a pension. And if you're in low-wage, precarious work, you're much less likely to have a pension. So access to that private retirement savings is really the accumulation of all that's happened to you often in your working life. And that I think contributes to the gap between racialized and white workers. 

[musical transition]

First Senior Interviewee  16:28
When I was pregnant, two months pregnant. My husband had some issues, and he actually left and was never involved financially. So yes, that was difficult. I didn't work. When she was six months old, I started going part time and going to school and getting a bit of welfare. So no, he wasn't financially involved. And I was living on my own since then. It was a financial struggle all the time. And, of course, that brings you to this age. If you struggled all through those years and don't have a high income and a high pension and own property, it's concerning to be older, and not really have as much money as you would like to have just to live very reasonably.

Third Senior Interviewee  17:26
As a woman, whether you're heterosexual woman who has lived who has not had any any pensionable work. And as a lesbian, who has a same sex partner, and we did not work a significant amount of time in Canada, we, somehow we get punished. Some, somehow we get punished for those choices that we made. And because of the way finances and the way retirement is viewed and, and calculated. Women, for the most part, women end up being on the losing end.

[musical transition]

Sheila Block  18:14
The other point about public pensions is they are enormously important in providing a base to all workers, but they also have this important capacity to reduce inequality by there more equal access to it. So if you are classified as an employee, or if you have the knowledge and are self-employed, you can have Canada Pension Plan contributions, whether you're in a unionized job, whether you're in a high-income job, whether you're in a low-income job, you have that access to that pension, and it follows you from job to job to job. I think it's also important as we're seeing the trends that Jo-Ann spoke about, about a reduction in employers in employer-sponsored pension plans. And as we see more turnover and work, and more people moving from one job to the next, we really see the importance of these public pensions to mitigate the impact of these changes in the labour market. And I often say when I really want to shock a millennial or a Gen-x person, I talk about how your relationship with your employer kit would actually continue after your death for many of us and in my generation. And that's because not only did you have a pension plan, but you have survivor benefits in your pension plan. And so those kind of long-term relationships with employers really are less prevalent, and we really need the pension system to catch up with what's happening in the labour market.

[musical transition]

Third Senior Interviewee  19:51
After my partner died, I was living on one income. And she had also been living overseas and working outside. She wasn't Canadian at that point. So her income was also small. When she retired, her income was small. So I don't have very much of a pension from when she died. I think I get something like $100 or so a month from her CPP. So when we retire, what we have to support ourselves very much is based on things like who your partner was, what your partner did, and whether or not you conform to that traditional experience of working in Canada.

[musical transition]

Jo-Ann Hannah  20:52
Yeah, I think Sheila just made some really good points about how your workforce participation carries on into retirement. I think it's important to note that there has been a continuous public policy debate on how our retirement income system should be structured. And so we've been referring to old age security and guaranteed income supplement and the Canada Pension Plan. And those are considered to be pillars, one and two of our retirement system, kind of the publicly administered system. And then pillar three is the market solutions. So voluntary employer pension plans, individual savings through RSPs, and TFSA. And as Sheila commented, if you're a high-income earner, you've got some income to put into those savings plans. And not surprisingly, in the debate, it's been the unions, the Canadian Labour Congress, women's organizations, who have advocated for enhancing the public system. And no surprise, it is the employers, the business organizations, the financial institutions, the banks, the insurance companies that have advocated for these market solutions, because those are the products they're selling. But there's good reason to advocate for the public system. And that has been where labour and women's organizations have focused their efforts. And if you look at pillar three, women do not do well for retirement income under pillar three. But what's interesting is that the CPP, which is income-based, but in fact, the gap between men and women in collecting CPP is lessened. And the reason that it's lessened is because the CPP is more friendly to women's work patterns. And I think picking up on something else that Sheila has just commented, there's men who are starting to fall into these precarious work patterns as well. And just a couple of things about the CPP is there is a dropout for child-rearing up to the age of seven. There is a general dropout of eight years for periods of unemployment, university, job retraining, you know, recognizing the reality of workers’ lives today in Canada. Portability, the other point that Sheila made for whatever for a number of reasons, women may see more job changes, possibly because of child-rearing, possibly because they're in sectors of the economy where they don't have stable employment. So they're moving to different employers. It’s so important you have that portability, you just move from one employer to the next, but you've still got your Canada Pension Plan. It's continuous. And I think the really important thing is that it is mandatory for employers. So you don't see sectors of the economy where employers decide we're not going to provide a pension plan. It's mandatory, everybody must plan, everybody must provide it, employers provide it, and that the workers participate in it. So those are really important considerations for the CPP, recommending the CPP.

Alyha Bardi  24:24
Yeah, I think those are such important aspects of the CPP that you just mentioned Jo-Ann. However, I am wondering what steps we need to take to further reduce senior poverty. So Sheila, considering your findings in your Colour Coded Retirement report, do you have any recommendations in mind for what needs to be done to increase retirement security and reduce senior poverty more equitably?

Sheila Block  24:40
So I think there, there are two important paths to reducing that inequality. And the first is what Jo-Ann just described, which we need a strengthened public pension system. And that has, you know, a number of impacts that reduce inequality. And the second part of that is we need to reduce the impacts of racism in the labour market. And when we reduce the impacts of racism in the labour market, then you increase access to good jobs for racialized and Indigenous workers. And you reduce that gap in incomes in retirement savings, and, and eventually in incomes for seniors. So I think both of those are big projects. They're not quick and easy solutions. But they're really essential if we don't want to continue this kind of inequality.

Alyha Bardi  25:50
And Jo-Ann, reflecting on your time as the director of pensions at Unifor, what should we be doing, or heading in a direction of, to increase security for racialized and or senior women?

Jo-Ann Hannah  26:04
Well, I think it is important for the union to ensure that women, that racialized workers, Indigenous workers, are active participants in the labour movement and can advocate for the kinds of programs that are important to them. And ensure that we have pension plans that are equitable, for Canadians. And I think it's important for unions to continue bargaining in employer-sponsored pension plans to keep that pressure on the employer to provide those pensions, even though we see a decline in the private sector. But that pressure is important. But like, Sheila, I think it's really important that we continue to enhance the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security. Back in 2016, there was a major debate around enhancing the Canada Pension Plan. The Canadian Labour Congress called for making the CPP 50% off of earnings, it was at 25%. They said, Let's increase it to 50% of earnings. And just as a rough measure, we say in retirement, you should have 70% of your pre-retirement earnings, just sort of a rough measure. So the CLC was advocating for 50%. We got 33, better than the 25 that was there, but it's still low. And I fear that a lot of people in the labour movement said, “well, you know, we got as much as we can get out of the CPP.” But I think we need to continue to put that pressure on enhancing the Canada Pension Plan. And there is another issue and that is around Old Age Security. It is based on residency, not citizenship residency, which is good. So it's saying your residency in Canada, you make a contribution to the economy, to our society. We don't care what you were doing, we don't care what your income was. We're going to recognize you with this flat monthly pension. However, there was a time when the residency requirement was much lower today, you need the full 40 years in order to qualify for the full Old Age Security, and otherwise, you can get a part Old Age Security. I think that's something that we should be looking at because immigrant women, they're not going to get the full advantage of that. That old age security. Oh, and the other thing on the Canada Pension Plan — so much room to enhance it, that the increasing the benefit level to 50% of your earnings, but also extending the child-rearing dropout to include eldercare, like wouldn't that be a significant improvement for those women who are taking time out of the workforce to care for elderly parents and grandparents?

[musical transition]

Second Senior Interviewee  29:09
I get it from OAP, CPP, Social Security from the States, because I grew up in the States. So a variety of places.

Third Senior Interviewee  29:37
So those are my — so it's CPP, OAS and GIS, and then some investment money that I get. So I get about $850 a month from my investment.

Fourth Senior Interviewee  29:37
Yeah, I get only $2,000. Yeah, there's two - CPP and supplementary benefits. It's enough if I stay at home all the time. If I go out, eating out on something, I can not pay.I can only pay the girl who cleans the house. The rest who pays is government.She comes once a week, because I cannot afford ---her two times a week. If I could afford her two times a week, what's better for her? And was better for me? 

First Senior Interviewee  30:23
Old age pension, CPP, and municipal. That's work pension, school board. Those are the three pensions that I get and after the end of June of this year, then I have no other extra income from work. So I'm okay this year — but it'll be a really, it'll be a problem going down the road a bit. Because those three pensions are way too low to live. And pay just normal rent. My income is 1800 a month. How can anybody live on 1800 a month with rent? The rent is 1200, and then there's a million things to pay.

Third Senior Interviewee  31:07
So from from 89. Until, until I retired, was the only time that I worked in Canada. So it was the only time that I contributed to CPP. Which makes an enormous difference in terms of my income. So currently, my income is CPP, Old Age Secrity, and guaranteed income supplement. And that also is impacted by the fact that I only worked in Canada, for 19 of the 40 required years in order to get the full Old Age Security. 

Fourth Senior Interviewee 31:49
My money situation? Zero money I feel very, very upset sometimes because I cannot pay them, I cannot pay the people, that the lady comes here cleaning the house. She buys everything for me, everything for the house, and everything for cleaning. And it’s very expensive now. And then after I ask, how come the government — how come they don't raise us up? They don't raise us up. 

[musical transition]

Alyha Bardi  32:31
I like how your answers both reflected on systemic changes that need to be made, but also policy-specific adjustments that need to made to things like the CPP. Kind of as we're slowly beginning to wrap up and I'm wondering if there are any questions that you both would like to ask each other or wish that I had asked you.

Jo-Ann  32:53 
Um, I don't know about questions — I thought your questions were very good. And I've really enjoyed the comments that I've heard. I just think a couple of points. One, the BC Ministry of Labour is currently looking at a pooled voluntary retirement pension fund for workers in the new economy. And I think we I think that's commendable that the BC government is doing this, there is another model wherein Saskatchewan, there's the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. And this is really a place to catch those workers who don't have a pension plan with their employer, or they have pieces of pension plans, they can bring them into this pooled fund. There is so much to be said about pooled funds, where you have the economies of scale to really manage a good pension fund. And the second thing is, while income is really important, we should not lose sight of all the other supports the social supports, that people need. And you know, childcare is such an obvious one for working women today. But also, when we think about seniors like what happened to PharmaCare, there was a really wonderful federal paper which Eric Hoskins headed up on the need for PharmaCare, which would be equivalent to Medicare, in Canada, universal, publicly funded, available to everyone. I mean, he made a wonderful point, that we have equity, equality, around health care. But two people sitting in the doctor's office, they both get to be in the doctor's office, they both get to meet with the doctor, one comes out with a prescription that they can fill, the other one comes out with a prescription that they don't know that they have the funding to — so PharmaCare is really important to seniors. Senior Care, that's really important. So there's a lot of public programs that we could be putting in place to support seniors. It's not just about... income is important. But it's not just about income.

[musical transition]

First Senior Interviewee  35:17
I just got a pair of glasses. $800. My coverage is disgusting. It's every two years $200 Well, that only plays for what one leg of my glasses. And they do give a reduction on the eye test, instead of the $140 or whatever it is that the optometrist — I think they charge the seniors &85. But it's still not really enough. You know, even if it's a bus ticket or taking a ferry, man at one time, seniors could travel on certain days of the week, I think Monday to Thursday free, but then they change that. I mean, there are little ways of helping seniors that aren't going to really take away from the whole economy. I don't know, I guess the government's not clued into the plight of a lot of seniors. We shouldn't have to be living on the street. But you shouldn't have to get to that point. 

First Senior Interviewee  36:20 
And I volunteer and I worked and I teach art, and I do this and I do that. But that income is still low. So there's not much you can do when you're at this age. All I can say to young women is think ahead, because when you're all a sudden find yourself 60 or 70 and it's almost it's virtually impossible. I guess, you know, when you're in the moment, like I was with as a single parent, you're just, you're in the moment. Just doing your daily stuff.

Third Senior Interviewee  36:53 
We make contributions, regardless of regardless of how society, the value that society puts on it. And especially these days, we live globally these days, right? I mean, people immigrate people move. People work in overseas, people work in different places. But none of that gets factored into what happens in Canada, once you reached a point of retirement. Because for example, everything that I've done in my lifetime has value. It doesn't come attached with dollars to it, but it has value in terms of contributing to society.

[musical transition]

Sheila Block  37:38 
So I think what I would add to that is that Jo-Ann ended with a hugely important point, because one piece of adequacy of income, is how much income is coming in. And the other part of it is, how much you have to spend, and how much of what you need is publicly provided. And that has a huge impact as well. And so you don't want to focus only on one solution, you want to focus on both. And it's hugely important. PharmaCare is very important. Access to broader health services is important because we know as people age, they need more of those. And the narrowing of what's covered by Medicare, in a number of provinces is hugely a problem. So I think that's a hugely important aspect. We need not only public pensions, but we also need public services. The other piece that I think is important, and that echoes what Jo-Ann was talking about, the power of being able to pool your retirement savings is hugely important in terms of kind of the value of each dollar that you've set aside for retirement. And again, that is very much a collective solution. And we do know that one of the really important indicators of whether you'll have a pension or not, or whether you'll have access to this collective saving, is whether you're unionized or not. And so kind of going even further back, what we need to do is we need greater access for people who want to join a union to be able to join one, to be able to kind of use that collective power to do a number of things, but also save for retirement. And I think that's particularly in low-wage service sector jobs. Because I think it's really important to remember that jobs in mining and manufacturing did not start out as good jobs, with good pay, and good benefits, and good health and safety. They were really terrible jobs, the workers unionized and improved wages and working conditions. And so I think That's another kind of pretty broad-ranging aspect of this. But the ability to organize in the service sector and low wage sectors, I think is also hugely important.

Alyha Bardi  40:13
And I'm wondering, as we're closing off, if you both would like to share anything you having going on, or coming up at the moment?

Sheila Block  40:21 
So I am currently working on paper with co-authors on the impact of COVID-19 on racialized workers. And so that's, that's my current focus. My other focus is that I'm, I'm going on vacation soon. So those are the two things that I'm working on at the moment.

Alyha Bardi  40:47 
Definitely some exciting things coming up on your end Sheila. Jo-Ann, is there anything you would like to talk about?

Jo-Ann Hannah  40:56 
So I'm not writing any papers, that's for sure. But I am, I've become very interested in payday loans. I didn't really understand who was using these payday loans. And it has been fascinating. And to see how the financial institutions, the banks, the credit unions are not providing services to these people. And it annoys me, we talk about financial literacy as if these people need to have better skills — that they don't realize taking out a payday loan at, you know, 25% to 200% interest, they understand that's lousy, they're squeezed. And that's why they're doing it. So I think this is a really important topic, and I want to learn more about it.

Alyha Bardi  41:50 
Yeah I think that really speaks to this blame narrative we often hear — we often blame those in unideal money situations, but on a societal level, and it's less common to stop and be critical of the varying institutions that cause these very problems. But anyways, Sheila and Jo-Ann, thank you joining us. It was really a pleasure to hear and learn from you both. So thank you very much for coming in.

Jo-Ann Hannah  42:19 
Thank you.

Sheila Block  42:20 
That was great. That was quite fun.

Melissa Roach  42:32
Below the Radar is a knowledge democracy podcast created by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. 

Alyha Bardi  42:39 
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women, Work, More series with Sheila Block & Jo-Ann Hannah. To learn more about the Colour Coded Retirement report, or Sheila and Jo-Ann’s other work endeavours, check out the show notes below.

Paige Smith  42:54 
A special thanks to the all-women team that created this series: our audio editor Paige Smith, cover artist and secondary editor Kathy Feng, transcriber and copywriter Melissa Roach, and our host and producer Alyha Bardi — as well as to each and every woman that spoke on the podcast. 

Kathy Feng  43:15 
Thank you for tuning in to this final installment of Women, Work, More — to stay up to date on future mini-series we’ll be releasing, follow us on Instagram or Twitter @sfu_voce, or Facebook @sfuvoce. We’ll see you next time on Below the Radar.

Transcript auto-generated by Otter.ai and edited by the Below the Radar team.
November 25, 2021
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