State Street Global Advisors brought its Fearless Girl campaign to London with a new statue in Paternoster Square, while a stone’s throw away at the London Stock Exchange the network for change in the asset management industry, City Hive, opened the market trading of UK companies.
Meanwhile, Investment Week brought readers top tips for women entering the industry from last year’s winners of the Women in Investment Awards, showcased the industry’s role models, and detailed visions for the diversity environment a decade from now.
While there were numerous reports published on the benefits of diversity, one figure stood out that highlights just how much work still needs to be done.
The UBS Investor Watch: Own your worth report conducted research into how women around the world engaged with their finances, surveying nearly 3,700 married women, widows and divorcees in Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
It concluded (perhaps unsurprisingly) 80% of women globally are highly involved in their short-term finances, such as daily expenses and budgeting, but (more surprisingly) almost 60% of women do not engage in aspects of their financial well-being: investing, insurance, retirement and other long-term planning.
More shockingly – and in what UBS described as a “counterintuitive twist” – younger women are even more willing than older women to leave investing and financial planning decisions to their spouses.
Just under 60% of women globally aged 20-34 were guilty of this, while this figure climbs to 69% in the UK, the second highest after Singapore.
This flies in the face of everything we have learned about the stereotypical millennial, which largely forms a picture of financially savvy, eco-aware individuals who know what they want.
So, why are so few young women taking control of their financial future? UBS highlights comments such as “running around with toddlers” and “concentrating on my children”, while a “lack of confidence” was also noted.
It is saddening to read that at a time when women are taking control of their careers, and also balancing family life and childcare, the majority are not planning their own financial futures.
There are huge opportunities for the investment industry here to pro-actively educate women on the importance of planning for retirement, to highlight the role our industry plays in society and showcase the varied jobs we have on offer.
This is reproduced from Investment Week; all views are from the publication. This originally appeared online on 15 March 2019.