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The financial wellness gender gap

The financial wellness gender gap

Category: Money

Updated: 08/06/2016
First Published: 08/06/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The gender gap is regularly highlighted in everything from pay to pension pots, but did you know that there's a gender gap in terms of financial wellbeing too? According to research from Momentum, women show lower levels of financial wellness than men, despite the fact that they also display a more positive and diligent approach to money management.

Financially disadvantaged?

The figures, from the first Momentum UK Household Financial Wellness Index, show that women are 43% more likely to feel that their income doesn't cover the cost of their everyday outgoings, and they're also 54% more likely to need to borrow money to cover a major expense. Not only that, but 28% have made no provision for their retirement, which suggests that these financial issues could continue for the long term.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given these figures, men are 29% more likely than women to show high levels of confidence about their short-term financial situation and are 33% more likely to demonstrate confidence in their long-term finances, with women suffering from a clear lack of faith in their long-term planning.

Overall, even after accounting for other variables, gender was found to be a "significant predictor" of financial wellness, with men scoring an average of 1.1 index points more than women. This is despite the fact that women are actually better at managing their money, which raises concerns that they could be facing a wider level of financial disadvantage.

Better management

For example, the figures show that 32% of women feel they're in complete control of their day-to-day money management compared with just 28% of men, and are also far more likely to plan their monthly outgoings (32% and 23% respectively) and monitor their daily spending (33% vs. 25%). Women are also more likely to make sacrifices to stay within budget, so it's unfortunate that they're still less financially secure than their male counterparts.

"It is evident from our research findings that women are, overall, less well financially than men," said Ferdi Van Heerden, CEO of Momentum UK. "While women show superior money management skills compared to their male counterparts, the Financial Wellness Index indicates they still struggle to find the necessary funds to be comfortable financially, especially in the medium and longer term."

Much of this could be due to the persistent gender pay gap, noted Ferdi, with ONS figures showing that the gap on earnings for full-time employees currently stands at 9.4%. "The fact that we still have to address gender-based financial inequality in the UK is incredibly disappointing, and more must be done to address this issue," he said.

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