Closing the investing gender gap

At Sharesies, we believe investing should be accessible to everyone—so we were interested to learn through our recent survey with Smartshares that investing is still skewed towards men!

Out of the 1000 Kiwis that we surveyed, we found that:

  • Men over the age of 60 were the group most likely to invest in shares
  • 22% of men owned shares, compared to 14% of women
  • 38% of men said they’d consider buying shares with their savings, versus 29% of women—women preferred to keep their savings in a bank account
  • 42% of men said they felt knowledgeable about the share market, while only 22% of women felt that way

We think it’s really important to set yourself up to make the most of the money you get—whether you identify as a man, a woman, both of the above, or neither. For women especially, you can start to see the importance of investing when you consider a few key factors.

Women tend to earn less money

Sad, but true. There are all kinds of reasons for this—women-dominated professions tend to pay less than male-dominated professions, women tend to take more time off work (more on that later), and women continue to be under-represented in high earning, top leadership roles. 

This has a real impact! If you make less money, then you have less income to draw from for your savings. Investing in shares helps to compensate for this by giving you the potential for higher returns than a bank account—and hopefully putting you in a better place at the end of your career.

Women are more likely to take time off their careers

Recent studies have shown that women are more likely to be the primary person responsible for childcare and housework in a household than men. While this is starting to shift in the other direction, taking a break from your career to look after the kids can have a big impact. 

You can’t save when you’re making $0 a year, and your pay doesn’t progress when you’re not working. But you can balance that out a bit by investing as you go—so that even if you’re not working, your money continues to work for you!

Women live longer

On one hand, this is obviously great if you’re a woman. Being alive is generally better than not being alive, and women, on average, tend to live longer than men. 

Here’s the downside though: your savings need to last longer if you’re a woman. Not only do men earn more, and tend to invest in shares more, they also don’t need to make their money last as long, because they’re more likely to check out at a younger age than women.

The good news

Despite what the survey results suggest, we reckon that the face of investing is changing.

Investing is now easier and more accessible than ever; you can invest from as little as $5, choose from a range of investing options, and learn as you go! At Sharesies, we see the direct impact of this—currently, half of the investors on Sharesies are women!

With investing becoming more accessible, we hope to see more Kiwis start to invest and feel confident with their money. We’d love to do this survey again in the future and see those national numbers move towards 50:50! After all, investing is for everyone—the most important part is getting started.

Ok, now for the legal bit.

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. The info provided above isn’t a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any financial products available through the Sharesies platform. Before investing, consider your investment objectives and read the fund’s product disclosure statement carefully. It contains the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and other information which should be considered carefully before investing.

Grow your investment portfolio, one payday at a time