Gender inequality in financial services

Gender equality does not exist and movement against it is too slow. Women customers served same financial products as for men. According to the research in US at least $700 billion revenue opportunity for tailored financial products to female buyers’ needs.

Gender inequality comes as a tradition, in all times men were rulers and money making persons in family. For female homework and kids care reserved. But time changed and women empowerment progressing.

Gender diversity is now recognized as a strategic issues. Women represent almost half of world’s population but they are underserved. Gender equality depends on country. The best equality in developed countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Norway. Biggest gap in gender equality in poor countries with unstable governments and overly religious countries.

On average only 6% of women hold CEO position. Also women CEO considered as risky approach. According to research in Israel, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Thailand and Norway more than 30% women represented on executive committees. On another side of spectrum Greece, Kuwait, China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia account for less than 10% of women on executive committees in major financial services firms. Global average stands on 20%.

One of the biggest problem for women’s career is maternity leave (sometimes more than one). In traditional understanding of leadership behavior it’s associated with men. So, when women occupy high position higher expectations on her performance. In most companies gender equality considered as risk but in reality it is an opportunity.

On average 2/3 of global household spendings controlled by women. But women do more free work than man. All household work is not paid, child care is not paid, cooking in not paid, etc. Women are less confident in their financial acumen, compared to men (25% difference). Women entrepreneurs are 30% less likely to get sufficient funding for business needs.

In most cases gender neutral financial services default towards men’s needs and preferences and created by men. Aka created by men for man but marketed as gender neutral services.

According to statistics women earn (on average) 63% of what men earn. In countries like Yemen, Syria, Iraq women are paid only 30% of what men earn. The best situation in Laos where women earn 91% of what men earn.

Women’s financial decisions are less risky because of lower risk tolerance. Also woken start working later than man, takes maternity leave and live longer. Because of this women are more likely to end up in poverty. Women are less likely to be approved for mortgage and other retail credit.

Traditional wealth planing strategy assumes that income will increase every year. But women take maternity leave and loose precious money making years (some companies provide less mortgage payment during maternity leave). After maternity leave women takes more days off because of need to care about kids. Also women have higher medical expenses.

Women ask less salary during the interview and women less likely to ask for salary hike. Women want to be treated with equal respect to their counterparts who are men. To have women in meeting room it’s not enough until her opinion is heard.

In 2018 The World Bank examined 189 countries and find out that almost half have laws preventing women to work on specific job. 59 countries have no laws preventing women from sexual harassment in the workplace. In 18 countries husband can legally prevent wife from working.

As we can see gender equality does not exist. Those who control the money & power, make the rules. And financial world is still male dominating world.

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