The gender wealth gap still prominent today

According to a study by Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management, women hold an average of £100,000 less in financial assets than men.

The study found that women typically hold £147,000 (on average) in financial assets, compared with men who hold an average of £250,000.

The Handelsbanken report, Gender and generation: unravelling the wealth gap highlights how the gender gap in financial literacy and confidence in investment markets and products, and financial planning in general is damaging women’s ability to build wealth.

According to the research, just 18% of women feel they received a good level of financial education in school, compared to 24% of men.

This contrast is starker amongst younger adults, with almost half (46%) of men under 30 believing they had received good financial education, compared to just 28% of women in the same age range.

Also, more than two-thirds (69%) of women said they had little to no knowledge of investments, compared to 43% of men, while more than half of women (56%) admitted the same for pensions, compared to 37% of men.

The Handelsbanken study found women are more likely to look after the day-to-day household finances, such as groceries and bills (80% compared with 69%), with men taking the lead on financial products like credit cards (58% versus 52%), pensions (47% versus 31%) and investments (40% versus 19%).

The survey also found that men are much more comfortable taking a high-risk, high-reward approach with investments, with women proving much more averse to risk.

Almost half (46%) of women said they would feel uneasy about choosing an investment with the potential for large gains, but the risk of large losses, with 34% (of women) saying they would never pick a high-risk investment. In contrast, just 10% of men admit to being very uncomfortable with the idea.

The research also found that men are far more likely to feel confident in giving financial advice to friends and family (41% of men versus just 29% of women).

“The study by Handelsbanken paints a clear picture: a significant lack of financial literacy and confidence is holding women back from achieving financial security” says Liza Pontone, chartered financial planner.

“Sady, the gender wealth gap remains a challenge, but financial planners can play a key role in helping women to bridge the gap.  Workshops like a recent one I presented, focusing on “Building Financial Confidence for Women in Business” and collaborations with schools (our next generation of financial advisers) empower women with financial literacy and the tools to navigate their financial future.

By creating a safe and supportive environment, financial planners like myself and my colleagues can help women to overcome anxieties and take control of their financial well-being. Together we can empower women to achieve financial confidence and build a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive financially”.

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