Money is not a woman’s business. Just look at our banknotes.
And women feel more comfortable talking to a doctor than a financial advisor.
So men still earn and control the majority of the wealth
the investment field ends up being largely male dominated.
Women only run a mere 2% of hedge funds.
86% of investment advisors are men.
Yet, funds run by women have better results…
But unconscious biases still keep them out of this male sphere. And women entrepreneurs struggle to get funded.
And rich women tend to be philanthropists rather than investors.
So which initiatives are shifting the balance of the investment world?
Let’s keep it secret
• Despite the fact that 92% of the women involved
in the study want to learn more about financial
planning, and 83% want to get more involved in
their finances in the next year, a whopping 80%
admitted that they have refrained from discussing
money with family and friends.
• In addition, only 47% feel confident when talking
about finances with a financial professional —
compared to 77% who would be comfortable
discussing medical issues with their doctor.
78% of women are
illiterate - WSJ
92% are eager to
learn more about
Women at the Forefront
Women are more comfortable talking
about their health than their wealth
• …says Kristen Robinson, Senior Vice President of Women and Young
Investors at Fidelity Investments based on findings from Fidelity’s Money
FIT Women Study, released today.
• Eight in 10 women avoid financial conversations because they are “too
personal” or “uncomfortable,” according to the online study of 1,542
women with employer-sponsored retirement plans.
• Even in the milieu of romantic relationships — where financial assets are
often shared— Fidelity found that women are more likely to talk with their
significant others about health issues (78 percent) and sex (74 percent)
than salary (66 percent) or investment ideas (65 percent).
• Women’s anxiety about discussing money occurs even if they’re talking to
a financial adviser. Less than half of women Fidelity surveyed (47 percent)
say they’d be confident talking about money and investments with a
financial professional. And half of women who have a primary investment
firm haven’t spoken with a rep there, Fidelity said.
• Fifty-six percent of respondents have refrained from
discussing finances with friends or family because money
was "too personal,"
• 35% didn't want to share financial information with those
they were close to, and 27% were raised not to discuss
• In addition, 32% of women feel uncomfortable discussing
money, and 16% feel that the issue is taboo. Twenty-six
percent claim that the topic never comes up in conversation.
• In short, it's really tough to talk about money when we are
socialized to keep this kind of information private.
• We worry that talking about money will make us vulnerable,
make someone feel bad, or simply cross a tacit societal
boundary — and those worries are not without merit.
Lack of confidence
• In addition to privacy concerns, women often have difficulty talking
about money because they assume they do not know enough
about the subject.
• Fourteen percent of respondents worry that talking about money
would be a waste of time and 10% feel as though they do not
understand finances well enough to talk intelligently about it.
• According to Kathy Murphy, president of Fidelity's Personal
• "Beneath women's reticence to talk about money lies a lack of
confidence in their knowledge of financial planning and investing.
This lack of confidence is really self-imposed. Our analysis of more
than 12 million investors shows that women actually demonstrated
stronger saving rates than their male counterparts and enjoyed
better long-term investment performance when they did engage.
Unfortunately, too many women still hesitate to take control of their
That confidence gap can feel like
• You feel foolish for not knowing
things, but asking questions
feels too intimidating. So you
continue worrying in silence
and assuming you don't know
enough to talk intelligently.
• Paradoxically, while women are
in fact confident in financial
matters, many persist in using
when asked about their ability
to manage their finances.
Women and men don't have the
same relationship to money
• For one thing, women are likely to have
less of it.
• While the wage gap between men and
women is getting smaller, women still earn
about $11,500 less in a year.
• As a result, women save less and are
hesitant to take risk when it comes to
investing the money they do save.
And millennial women do not seem to be
focusing on building wealth at the same
rate as millennial men
• Per Wells Fargo only 50% of millennial
women have started saving for retirement
versus 61% of millennial men.
• Subsequently, only 41% of millennial women
feel satisfied with their savings level,
compared with 58% of millennial men.
• Starting to save and invest early (even if in
small amounts) is crucial owing to the
powerful effect of compounding.
Only 18 % of millennial women (compared to 29% of
millennial men) demonstrate high financial literacy.
• While this is a concerning statistic, this is one area where the
gender gap appears to be closing as the percentage point
difference between the genders for millennials is 11-points
vs. 21-points for Gen Xers and 25-points for Boomers.
• The financial industry must take some responsibility for
closing the confidence gap:
• Research by the Boston Consulting Group found that women
(globally) are more dissatisfied with the financial services
industry than with any other industry!
• As the industry is still mainly run by men, catering to men,
women often feel as if their needs are not being
met. “Married women are often considered mere appendages
to their husbands. It should come as no surprise, then, that
more than 70% of married women fire their financial
professionals within one year of their husbands’ deaths.”
Men still earn and control the
majority of the wealth
Steering trends to serve the goal
Of the unbanked worldwide, 55%, or 1.1
billion, are women, according to Findex.
So the investment field ends
up being largely male
Women only run a mere 2% of hedge funds, although a
large percentage of them are in the top quartile of
performers during the past ten years.
• Less than one-third of venture capital firms in the U.S.
employ even one woman who participates in business or
investment decisions, and only 9 percent of mutual
fund managers are women, according to a 2015 study from
investment researcher Morningstar.
• There are plenty of women in back-office roles in finance, but
few have the final say over where the money is invested.
• In the KPMG report, only 14 percent of executive women
surveyed across the finance industry—which included
venture capital companies and hedge funds—held the post
of chief executive officer, and only 21 percent were in roles
that let them manage money, with the vast majority of women
relegated to marketing or compliance.
Yet, funds run by women have
• In fact, funds owned and run by women
have returned an average of 59.43 percent
since 2007, compared with an average of
36.69 percent for the whole
industry, according to figures released in
September by Chicago-based Hedge
Fund Research Inc., which last year
launched its first index exclusively
Female investors behave
• Studies have consistently shown that female
investors appear to have three common
behavioral differentiators that set them apart
– they experience fewer losses caused by
overconfidence and overtrading,
– they exhibit greater discipline in their investing
– they focus more on protecting their investments
from downside risk.
BETTER OUTCOMES FOR EVERYONE
• Women work 2/3 of the world’s working hours and earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the
properties (Global Poverty Project)
• 70% of world’s poor are women (Global Poverty Project) yet a billion women are poised to enter the
work force (Strategy&)
• Increases in girls education results in a decrease in both human and fiscal costs associated with
challenges such as domestic violence and HIV (BasicEd)
• Gender gaps in labour forces decrease GDP for both rich and poor countries (Goldman Sachs)
• With every increase of 10% in girls going to school, a country’s individual GDP rises by 3%
(Global Poverty Project)
• Achieving gender equality could add 12 trillion to the world GDP (McKinsey)
WOMEN DO MORE WITH LESS CAPITAL
• Women entrepreneurs are outperforming male counterparts with less capital available to them
• Women led private tech companies see 35% more in ROI and and 12% increases in revenue with 33%
less capital (Kauffman Foundation)
POTENTIAL FOR OUTPERFORMANCE
• Women led teams outperform male teams but hybrid teams outperform overall (MIT)
• Companies with more women in board seats or senior leadership are performing better in terms of
sales, profitability and invested capital (Catalyst / Credit Suisse / Peterson Institute)
• Public companies with a higher proportion of women leaders enjoy 46% higher ROI and 51% EBITDA
margin (McKinsey and Company)
• Growth of women-owned small businesses with 10m+ revenue is 50% faster (American Express)
• Companies with greater board diversity display excess stock market returns when adjusted for sector
bias. They also exhibit higher returns on equity, higher valuations and higher payout ratios (Credit Suisse)
• There is a positive relationship between gender based investment approaches and higher returns (UBS)
Find related data at
“What would have happened if Lehman
Brothers had been Lehman Sisters?”
And it is crucial to incorporate
“feminine values” into finance
• The lack of diversity in investment and
leadership world, the herd philosophy led to
massive economic crisis.
• There is a necessity for a new model
incorporating feminine values, a different way
of doing business.
• Which looks for economic but also emotional
capital. Financial and Social return. Profit
with principles. And it Works and the returns
3 reasons why women haven’t
flourished in the startup ecosystem
• Bias: Even Paul Graham admits to falling in love with founders that resemble Mark
Zuckerberg. Assuming that a big part of that connotation lies in the founder’s
frequency of past exits, there are arguably fewer women who come to mind – at
least for now. It’s the same superficial psychology that makes your ex’s lookalikes
attractive. As a result, far fewer women achieve VC funding, making them generally
less successful in the startup ecosystem overall.
• Connections: In the early stage investment industry, most deal flow comes from
referrals from trusted investment sources. In our interview, Alicia comments
that ‘Often we [Elizabeth Kraus and Alicia] are the only women in the room’.
Investment started out as an ‘old boys’ game, and, as they say, old habits die hard.
This has made it notoriously difficult for women to break in, and to make
connections who provide that vital source of deal flow.
• Confidence: The Wells Fargo Affluent Women Retirement Survey showed that a
startling 49% of affluent women do not feel confident when investing, which is,
again, a likely result of the territorial ‘gentlemans’ club’ mentality attached to the
industry. Ironically, this risk avoidance is part of what makes women better investors:
The aforementioned study by Fidelity Investments showed that women tended
towards more balanced portfolios, which should always be encouraged.
And rich women tend to be
philanthropists rather than investors
50% of women give to women and
girls causes but less than 1% currently
invests with a gender lens.
Women at the Forefront
Investment channels funds to the
projects who will shape the future
You have savings? Invest!
Which initiatives are shifting
the balance of the investment
2 Ways To Get More Women
• Invest in female entrepreneurs: Most business angels are former entrepreneurs.
That’s what makes them a fantastic source of smart money. It makes sense that
entrepreneurialism and investing are intrinsically linked; when more female
entrepreneurs receive early stage funding, more will see their businesses prosper,
and will go on to re-invest the profits back into the startup ecosystem. To do that, we
need to remove that inherent and superficial bias towards male founders
• Investing Programs: For those who lack confidence in their investments – many of
whom, unfortunately, seem to be women – there may be a practical solution. By
syndicating those people into an investment network, programs like Alicia’s ‘Rising
Tides’ program spread the risk across all parties, promoting confidence. That same
syndicate then acts as a network of connections, providing that invaluable deal flow.
Moreover, many programs offer an educational element, with lead investors guiding,
mentoring and advising the network.
• Gender in the investment industry has media outlets for years, but one simple
solution remains, Support. As an ecosystem, we must remove historic biases and
actively support female founders and investment, whether that means investing in
their startups or improving their confidence as investors.
In partnership with the
NFEC we’ve created Arora
Education, an engaging online
learning system. With it our members
can become fully financially literate
during the course of a semester. Our
financial education is available for
free in English and in Spanish.
Women at the Forefront
Arora Wallet gives women the tools
they need to put their financial
education in practice delivering a free tailor-made
personal money management and financial dashboard app.
Women at the Forefront
Lets close the financial
gender gap together
Women at the Forefront
A few tips
• 1. Find a financial "buddy."
– By making time on a regular basis to discuss financial
matters with a trust-worthy friend, family member,
mentor or financial expert, tackling financial goals can
become less overwhelming and more attainable. In the
same way that "gym buddies" keep each other
motivated, financial confidantes can help both parties
make progress and stay accountable.
• 2. Join an online conversation.
– Take advantage of online conversations with other
women looking to get more involved in their finances,
as well as experts providing insights and guidance.
A few tips
• Change the language. Just as we need to ban the word “bossy,”
we need to eliminate the negative stigma associated with women
discussing their finances. It does not make a woman money-
hungry – but rather educated, smart, and prepared.
• Get educated. Education is the key propellant to change. Young
girls in school should be proud to excel in math, science, and
computer programming class. Young women in college should be
required to enroll in personal finance and accounting classes,
regardless of their major.
• Embrace asking for help. Most people view asking for help as a
weakness – but in reality, those on the giving end of it feel fulfilled
by giving help. Asking for help is a great way to start the
conversation as it relates to your finances – and will get you used to
speaking about it, without coming from a powerful, authoritative
position. As you get more comfortable speaking about money and
finances, you won’t need to approach it from a position of asking
for help – you can be the one helping others.
A few tips
• Kick-start your financial education at your own pace.
• There are numerous tools, tips and reference materials online (like here at
PT Money) which can help women boost their financial knowledge to the
• Take advantage of workplace retirement guidance.
• Many employers offer on-site financial workshops and guidance, yet the
study shows that 65% of women are not taking advantage of retirement
guidance made available to them through their workplace plan provider.
Check if your employer offers onsite financial workshops or 1:1 guidance,
sign up if available, or contact a financial services provider directly.
• Work with an expert.
• A financial professional can be a valuable resource to turn to with questions
and to help build a roadmap for the future. When choosing an adviser, look
for a good listener who communicates clearly about fees, professional
designations, and investment advice. Interview the adviser before you
make a commitment, to make sure you are comfortable and can build
strong working relationship.