International Women’s Payday

I’m sick of being a walking cliche.

And for once, I’m not talking about the pink outfits and Barbie phone case. It turns out that a lot of women are not taking an active role in managing their money. And… yeah, I feel seen.

The FCA suggests that this stems from the trifecta of lacking confidence in how to manage it, low knowledge about financial matters, and not seeing themselves as a savvy consumer. For me, it’s these plus a longstanding hatred of maths. It’s taken me until last week to try a Sudoku – because, numbers. 

It’s easy to say that certain stereotypes of men and women are outdated. But it’s a lot harder when the stats back them up.

Perfectly intelligent, educated women are discounting themselves from financial conversations, with the subliminal hope that someday someone will sort this whole thing out for us. One in five women plan to rely at least partially on their partner’s income during retirement. Enough. 

One of the IWD partners this year is Scottish Widows. Their latest data shows that despite more women saving into pensions, the gender pension gap persists. The average young woman today is on track to retire with around £100k less than a man. *Spits out tea* sorry, what?

Put another way, a recent report from NOW: Pensions indicates that women typically need to work for an extra 19 years in order to retire with the same pension savings as their male counterparts. I can’t speak for everyone, but come 86, I’d rather be on a Caribbean cruise where my hardest job is choosing between a martini or margarita. 

Decisions made in a woman’s 20s and 30s can have a huge impact on their future financial outcomes. I won’t go into the whole childcare / maternity leave thing here, but suffice to say it doesn’t wind up with us being quids in. So there’s lifestyle compromises at play, plus what I call the gender confidence gap.

A 2021 study revealed that the stereotype of women being bad with money actually increased financial anxiety in women, which in turn widened the gender gap in financial literacy. Brilliant. 

Unbelievably, even very wealthy women lack financial confidence. We worked with UBS to create Equals – a platform designed to inspire and support female assurance in this area.

There was everything from a partnership with Harper’s Bazaar At Work, to a Financial Confidence workbook. It all empowers these women to take control of their wealth now, and reap the rewards later. It’s arguably even more important for the rest of us to tool up and understand what savings changes we can make now, to ensure we can retire in the manner to which we’d like to become accustomed.

I for one am keen to immerse myself in every possible resource, so that come 70, i’ll be writing this blog from my superyacht.