As feminism dominates the minds of millennials and gender neutrality seizes generation Z, women still suffer social inequality and gender pay gap.
According to the World Economic Forum women won’t achieve economic parity with men until 2186.
And that means that even our grandchildren will not see gender equality in their lifetimes.
In the US, women working full-time earn around 21% less on average compared with men on an annual basis. Various factors contribute to the gender pay gap. Pay discrepancy occurs even when a woman and a man do the same job, and have the same experience and skills.
Women tend to be the main caregivers of children and aging parents. Taking career breaks to care for others can harm their career prospects over the long term.
Numerous surveys and studies highlight women’s relative lack of financial confidence when deciding on investments. This lack of confidence supports observed differences in women’s appetite for risk. This can lead to women having large amounts of cash in their portfolios, and choosing what they believe to be low-risk investments, such as fixed income.
Different studies suggest that gender differences in taking risks are the same between cultures (an exception is China, where women are just as likely to hold an ‘aggressive’ portfolio as men).
When deciding on investments, women often spend more time researching and finding information than men.
New research commissioned by Starling Bank analysed the linguistics of more than 300 finance articles from publications around the world. Some 65% of those targeted at a female readership referred to them as ‘splurgers’ and encouraged them to start ‘saving pennies’. In comparison, when journalists write about men’s relationship with money they take a much more assertive approach. Phrases like ‘opportunities to seize in 2018’ and ‘calculated risk’ are commonplace and they address topics like building an investment portfolio.
WHAT TO DO?
Women directors and CEOs in the board room boosted company return on equity by 36% between 2010 and 2015. Women will control three-quarters of the world’s discretionary spending by 2028, according to Ernst & Young’s Growing Beyond – High Achievers report.
Now men have to become an integral part of the conversation, working with women to overcome the real-world obstacles that block women from an equal economic inclusivity in the world of work that will benefit everyone in the longer term.
At the same time, women need to redouble their efforts to give their younger sisters a hand up the career ladder as they progress themselves. Connecting, mentoring and sharing their experience – and promoting women – will have far more practical impact than writing books on female empowerment, or speaking on inspirational panels.
Based on materials: UBS