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  • Women have the potential to become more financially resilient

    We explore why increased financial resilience can help us close the financial gender gaps.

    According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the proportion of female and male workers engaged in full-time employment has seen a steady rise since 2019, potentially due to more flexibility in working arrangements prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This is great – especially for women. Because historically, the motherhood penalty has posed challenges to female financial resilience, but this recent trend should hopefully allow women to make gradual strides of progress.

    In this article we explore this in further detail, but it is not personal financial advice. If you’re not sure if a course of action is right for you, ask for financial advice.

    Women are working more hours per week

    The ONS reveals the average weekly hours worked by women are steadily increasing.

    From 26.5 hours in 1998 to 27.9 hours in 2022, a difference of 1.4 hours per week over the span of two decades. Notably, the average weekly hours for women in 2022 were 0.5 higher than those in 2019, showcasing a notable shift in the right direction.

    Crucially, the data shows that the working world's adaptation to working from home, coupled with employees' demonstrated productivity at home, has led to a greater willingness among employers to offer flexible working arrangements. And hybrid work patterns have provided more space to balance caring responsibilities with work.

    There’s still work to be done

    While acknowledging these positive developments, there remains work to be done. The gender pay gap persists at 14.9% across all workers and 8.3% among full-time workers. Additionally, the gender pensions gap stands at 35%, highlighting the need to keep working on closing the gaps.

    One of our recent surveys* also found that 77% of men have cash savings, compared to 68% of women. But it gets worse when it comes to investing - 45% of men report investing, compared to only 28% of women.

    In the current climate it will currently take 132 years to close the global gender gap, but women have the power to change the tides of financial power.

    5 ways to thrive

    With the increased opportunity to work remotely, women should hopefully be able to build their financial resilience. Here are five ways they can get started:

    • Manage debt responsibly to avoid financial strain
    • Safeguard income with essential protection insurance
    • Establish an emergency fund for unexpected expenses
    • Start planning financially for retirement
    • Look into investing to improve financial growth and security.

    Read more about 5 to thrive

    By taking control of their financial futures, women can start to build this resilience and accelerate progress towards closing the gender gaps.

    * Figures from a survey of 2,000 people by Opinium for Hargreaves Lansdown in October 2023.

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