Closing the gender pay gap

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Financial inequality is one of the greatest challenges we face today. On current estimates it will take more than 200 years to close the gender pay gap1.

Based on current figures, women earn on average 18.4% less than men2. As a result, a woman’s pension pot, including both workplace and personal pensions, will be £5,600 less than the average man’s at retirement3.

But there is some good news: we have the potential to close this glaring gap sooner by unlocking the financial power of women.

This is why Fidelity has launched ‘GET INvested’, a campaign to bring industry, government and investors together, to address the barriers women face when it comes to investment, and to create the tools, guides and solutions to realise lasting change.

Investment has the potential to enable women (and men) to have their money work harder by generating superior long-term returns from the stock market. As it stands, the majority of women don’t invest in the stock market. Instead of putting more into a pension or utilising the tax-efficiency of a stocks and shares ISA, women still favour the perceived ‘safe haven’ status of cash.

Beyond our tendency to leave our savings languishing in cash, there can be little doubt that the gender pay and the gender pension gaps are compounded by a lack of confidence when it comes to decisions about saving, investing and securing income for the future. Our research found that more than one in ten women do not feel comfortable choosing financial products and services – that’s twice as many as men. Four in five women say they don’t trust investment providers.

We kick-start our ‘GET INvested’ campaign with a state of the nation report, The Financial Power of Women, based on listening to more than 1,000 women and 1,000 men to understand their attitudes to investment and what is needed to drive change. Our findings show that if women were to engage more with their personal finances and take just the small step of saving an additional 1% per month over a working life of 39 years, the gender pension gap would be closed.

Watch the below video of our first Women & Money Innovation Lab, where we brought together industry, government, the media, influencers and women from all walks of life together, to identify ways of unlocking women’s financial power. These sessions will be held quarterly and we will continue to share the outcomes of our discussions in coming months. Our aim is to find actionable solutions, so that together we can effect change that will benefit not just women, but society and the economy as a whole.

Sources:

1World Economic Forum, Global Gender Pay Gap report, 2017 weforum.org/reports/the-global-gender-gap-report-2017

2ONS hours and earnings, 2017 bit.ly/2iDz3VG  

3Source: ONS pension wealth, February 2018 (sheet 6.5) bit.ly/2JLAHAF

Innovation Lab 1: Let’s get personal

A ‘behind the scenes’ snapshot of our first Women & Money Innovation Lab.

Unlocking women's financial power

Maike Currie and Tom Stevenson explain the thinking behind Fidelity’s GET INvested campaign.

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Please remember the value of investments can go down as well as up, and you may not get back the amount you invest. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure of the suitability of an investment, you should speak to an authorised financial adviser. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future.  Withdrawals form a pension product will not be possible until you reach age 55.