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Wealth and legacy: Women driving the new philanthropy

As the “female economy” now represents the fastest growing wealth demographic in Australia and abroad, what does this mean for philanthropy? Angela Mentis, executive general manager of NAB Private Wealth, has a unique perspective on the question, having worked with hundreds of high net worth individuals.

“We are seeing more women inheriting wealth because of their longevity and demographic patterns, and we are also seeing the number of women out-earning their husbands has tripled over the last five years,” she says.  

“Regardless of inherited wealth, we know that women are decision makers for 90% of household purchases, including financial services, and contributing equally to decisions around charitable giving.”

Angela says the trends she is witnessing are consistent with Boston Consulting Group’s findings that 27% of global wealth is now managed by women, and that women’s view of wealth becomes less concerned about accumulation, and more about providing security for themselves and their families.  

“Women are still much more likely than men to be concerned about having to depend on others, which shows that women are moving away from the concept of ‘my husband will look after me’ and consciously deciding they want to depend on themselves.

 “In regards to legacy, our Attitudinal Segmentation Study found that women appear to be the driving force in the decision to leave a legacy. We found that women tend to demonstrate ‘universal values’ more prominently than men too – a higher alignment with values of helpfulness, equality, forgiving and world peace.

“In our experience, women seek more active engagement with charitable organisations, and they will spend more time on understanding the effectiveness and social impact of their giving.” 

Personally, as a mother, Mentis encourages her children to have a broad and global perspective of the issues that face society across issues as diverse as homelessness, addictions and climate change, and her children individually sponsor children in Africa.  

On the local front, Mentis says she cares deeply about education for underprivileged children and the difference education can make to breaking the generational cycle of disadvantage. 

“I was fortunate to visit Alice Springs six years ago to see first hand the conditions and adaptive leadership challenges in our Indigenous communities. I was particularly moved by the issues faced by the children.  

“I am interested in joining not for profit boards and have provided my skills pro bono in the past to assist with fundraising, mentoring, assisting with business cases and introducing networks.”

(First appeared on www.womensagenda.com )

The Xfactor Collective is a community of pre-vetted specialist consultants who help social change makers achieve their social mission. We have a diverse range of specialists across 300+ areas of specialisation, and this article was written by our Specialist Consultant Julia Keady. To find out more about working with Julia, or how the Collective can help you, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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