By Emilie Bellet
Founder and CEO, Vestpod
Why is it Important to Empower Women Financially?
Women are the future of the economy – controlling about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending (in 2009), and that figure is expected to rise to $28 trillion by 2018.1 By 2028, women will control 75% of discretionary spending worldwide.
Moreover, the proportion of working women carrying the primary financial responsibility in their families has risen from 23% in 1996 to 33% in 2013.2 Yet, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned: according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies,3 women, on average, earn 18% less than men – with the gender pay gap being particularly hard on mothers. Such a wage disparity has a direct impact on the way women save for retirement: the median level of wealth held by men in pensions is more than twice that of women.4 The statistics on savings, investing and levels of debt show a similarly bleak gender divide.
Consequently, there has never been a more important time for women to get serious about understanding their finances and for the industry to start serving them better. If we give women the tools to rise above their challenges, we can help them earn more and save more, giving them the freedom to live their lives on their own terms. Financially empowered women also have a positive impact on the economy, helping improve living standards, bettering education and boosting jobs.
However, impediments stand in ...