Covid-19 has presented women with an opportunity to secure their financial futures, writes Angelika Dehmel from BUX.
Sadly, it is not news to anyone that the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected women of all walks of life across the globe, exacerbating an already dire disparity.
Unfortunately, women tend to outnumber men in service-related industries, which were hardest hit over the past 16 months.
“Women must embrace investing and abandon the misplaced notion that investing is ‘not for them’ or that putting money away for a rainy day is enough”
There is an immense danger that the economic fallout of the past year will do damage and set back much of the headway that has been made on gender pay parity.
According to the United Nations, the pandemic could impede 25 years of progress made towards gender equality. However, even in such an unprecedented situation, there is hope.
One thing the pandemic has undoubtedly taught us is the importance of preparing for periods of uncertainty. The most sensible starting point for women to prepare for the unexpected is the management of our personal finances.
Investing is not only for men
When it comes to finances there is much to be done to level the playing field.
“Education is key in order to bring Irish women to the investing table. It is essential that women are armed with the necessary information and resources to dispel any anxiety around investing”
According to data from the Central Statistics Office the average gender pay gap in Ireland is 14.4pc, which is exacerbated by issues like a lack of representation in leadership roles, as well as women being impacted by periods of time off.
The pandemic has adversely affected financial inequality for women and men across the board. With this in mind, alternative revenues streams and long-term wealth management strategies have become all the more important, especially in times of uncertainty
Women are at a disadvantage when it comes to the management of personal finances, as the vast majority of finance professionals are men, to whom the industry is geared towards.
When it comes to personal investment, according to the ESRI, less than one-third of Irish women invest in a private pension compared to 55pc of men. Indeed, women engage with investing and money management at low levels overall.
This should come as no shock, seeing as communications relating to investment are often gendered highly towards men. For decades, investment has been an uneven playing field, where those most likely to engage in trading or portfolio management are those that are already more economically well-off, due to the barriers of entry to the market established by investment management companies. No longer.
The game has changed
Technology has made it easier than ever for women to decide themselves how and where they want to invest their money. Armed with the right resources, it is imperative that we begin doing so at rates unseen in the past.
While there have been plenty of stories over the past year in particular of get-rich quick or lose it all trading schemes, such as the Game Stop fiasco, or the trials and tribulations of AMC, there is much more to investing than making a quick buck.
Investment management is about securing your long-term financial future, and the past year has shown us that this is more important than ever. Rather than dwelling in the disheartening statistics presented by the pandemic, we have an opportunity to define our own futures by claiming financial sovereignty and taking the bull by the horns.
We can do this by broadening our financial horizons and diversifying our revenue streams. Central banks across the world are offering incredibly low interest rates, meaning that leaving money in a savings account will see minimal increases. We need to take this opportunity to make our money work smarter. This is achievable through investing.
However, it’s not as simple as saying that we should all put our savings into an investment portfolio; there is much more to be done on the part of industry and governments to ensure that women receive sufficient financial literacy education to reduce the disparity.
However, women must also embrace investing and abandon the misplaced notion that investing is ‘not for them’ or that putting money away for a rainy day is enough.
Education is key in order to bring Irish women to the investing table. It is essential that women are armed with the necessary information and resources to dispel any anxiety around investing.
It is time for women to get our money to work for us. Doing so is essential to bridging gaps in income equality and dissolving the crevice between our wallets and those of our male counterparts.
Angelika Dehmel, is content lead at BUX, one of Europe’s fastest-growing neobrokers, which launched in Ireland this year.