FinanceWomen’s Voices

How the Gender Gap is Fueling the Investment Gap

3 Mins read

Countless conversations have emanated from tackling the issue of gender equality, especially in the workplace. This discrepancy has garnered momentous attention from individuals and institutions as every year, the celebration of International Women’s Day underscores gender balance and equality around the world and calls for change in the perception of women.

In the workplace, it is unquestionably true that women get paid less for comparable work than men. In analysing the gender pay gap using data covering some 70 countries and about 80% of wage employees worldwide, the Global Wage Report 2018/19 reveals that women are paid approximately 20% less than men. According to the report, the gender pay gap, which is defined as the difference between the average hourly pay of men and women, is wider at the high end of the pay scale in high-income countries, while in low- and middle-income countries, the gender pay gap is wider amongst the lower-paid workers.

Several studies have shown factors that explain the gender earnings gap. Some of them include implicit and explicit biases in the workplace, gender differences in how credit is attributed and differences in how men and women negotiate.

In a country like Nigeria, where men dominate the highest corporate and institutional positions, this data shines light on how women can be disadvantaged in their financial stability. As long as the percentage of senior men in the workplace is higher than women, the gender pay gap will remain an existing occurrence.

It is clear that the gender investment gap is gaping. There is a glaring gender gap when it comes to women’s investment, as men are more likely to invest and grow their wealth largely than women.

Aside from the claim that a higher percentage of men are financially knowledgeable than women regarding investment, the gender pay gap remains one of the reasons women are not as aggressive as men when it comes to investing. As a result of the fact that women earn less, it is only logical that when they invest, the numbers are often smaller, and they do so later than men do. This leaves women lagging in financial growth and stability.

The gender pay gap has significantly affected the mindset of women when it comes to investment. Men and women engage with money differently, as a study shows that women, because of their conservative nature, hold more cash than the opposite gender. Although it may appear less risky and safer to save just in case of access to funds in an emergency, it doesn’t lead to wealth creation.

A survey by a digital investment platform, Wealthsimple, shows that women overall invest 40 per cent less money than men do. Considering that the gender pay gap leaves women earning less than men, women will have to make tougher financial sacrifices just to achieve equal investment portfolios as their counterparts.

The narrative is changing as investing is no longer perceived exclusively for men. Women are slowly changing their behaviour with investing, but again, the gender pay gap remains a constraint.

The truth remains that when women aren’t investing enough as men, they lose out on reaching their financial goals and experiencing the confidence that accompanies financial freedom. To enable women to invest, undervalue women’s work and close every gender pay gap.

When gender parity is achieved with pay cheques, women are likely to invest more and earlier than they do. Ideally, it is only normal for women to invest more as they earn more.

A great approach to reducing investment pay gaps includes ensuring equal pay for women and men for the same jobs done.

With the embrace of digital technology, investment is no longer as complex as it is perceived. As a woman, you can now invest in different portfolios online from the comfort of your home and watch your money grow.

HerVest provides women access to savings and investment opportunities to help them build wealth steadily, securely and conveniently. HerVest is available on Google and Apple devices. Get started here.

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