This International Women’s Day, we’re thinking positive. Let’s start with some things to celebrate, because to reach a big goal it’s important to acknowledge when we reach small ones.
- As Kate Thornton said at Planet Investment recently – we can’t do much about getting older but we can do something about getting poorer.40% of people in the UK now tell us that they have a workplace pension, so the impact that auto enrolment has had is clear to see.
- Women are speaking up about what they want most in an investment product – 40% have voted that their number one requirement is no jargon please! This is even more important to women than high returns.
- We know that women and men on average are not looking at this the same way. Only 32% of women feel at all confident choosing an investment product, against 46% of men. As a group, the data tells us that women prioritise communication, trust and simply a lack of bullshit even over returns. Women tend to feel they need a higher level of expertise before they can invest and that existing investors have a higher level of expertise than they actually do.
- We challenge investment brands to take these facts to heart, take a deep breath and go back to their communications. Think about writing for someone who is perhaps a little nervous and a little anxious from the word go. Asking for financial help still feels daunting – financial institutions must accept there is a problem if they want to move forward.
- The financial industry is starting to listen. We doff our caps to brands like Wealthsimple for partnering with Moneygirl and Legal and General Investment Management for flying the flag for clearer financial comms. More and more firms are coming to us asking for help on how to make financial products less boring and, more specifically, how to reach women.
We have more work to do, of course. The pensions gap between men and women still exists and it’s frightening.
- 23% of women have investment products compared to 35% of men, and only 15% of women who do invest say they actually enjoy it. That’s right up there with sit-ups, Dry January and the last Transformers movie.
Financial institutions: We know the way to fix this is to spend less money and time on perfecting returns and more on how you actually speak to people. This includes existing customers and those you’re trying to reach for the first time. It means looking at your stance on compliance from a fresh angle, and it means meeting and speaking with women who have been doing all these things for years. Step by step, we’ll get there.
If you work in the financial industry, we can give you an opportunity to do this at our Women Invest Too half-day event. If you’re someone who just wants to get started, get their finances sorted and help close some of these gaps, visit our Wary Women tribe for clear, step-by-step, no-nonsense guides and tips. If you’re ready to look at products, our Best Buys tables show the best of the bunch for pensions, investments, you name it. You’ll get the collective wisdom of almost 1500 customer reviews.