#IWD2022: The gender investment gap — 85% more women than men haven’t tried investing

by | Mar 8, 2022

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Research from Charles Stanley Direct reveals there is a significant investment gender gap as half (50%) of women admit they haven’t tried investing, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of men. This investment gap is concerning as women are missing out on higher returns to make their money grow, which could impact their financial stability.

  • Mind the Investment Gap report found that despite having never invested, almost a third (30%) of women admit they’d like to try.
  • When it comes to the reasons why women don’t invest, almost a third (31%) say it’s because they don’t know where to begin, compared to just a fifth (20%) of men who say the same.
  • General savings (40%), retirement (37%) and a holiday (28%) are the main things women are saving/investing for.
  • Covid-19 has prompted more men than women to consider investing, further exacerbating the investment gap. This is not helped by the fact that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, with more women taking on home schooling and more likely to have seen their income fall during the pandemic, with nearly half (48%) reporting a drop in disposable income, while incomes remained steady for men.
  • 15% of men say that with market volatility there’s a lot of money to be made vs 8% of women. Men are also more like to invest due to interest rates being low resulting in poor returns on cash savings (27% vs 21% of women). 22% of men also see market lows as an opportunity to invest and buy at a good price vs just 13% of women.
  • When asked what makes them worried about investing, nearly a third (30%) of women don’t understand the different levels of risk and how to minimise the chance of losing all their money, compared to 21% of men. 27% of women also admitted they don’t understand the financial terminology when it comes to investing. Only 20% of men of men said the same.
  • When it comes to financial jargon, men are far more likely to know and understand common terms.

Financial terms:

Male Female
SIPP 21% 8%
Annuity 30% 15%
Dividend 47% 27%
ISA 54% 43%
Robo-advice 11% 4%
Compounding 30% 12%
Auto-enrolment 33% 24%
Pension 62% 48%
Diversification 31% 14%
De-risking 14% 5%
Equities 30% 12%
Drawdown 24% 10%
Interest rates 65% 51%
Inflation 56% 36%
Defined Benefit/ Defined Contribution pension 28% 14%
Investment Trusts 26% 11%


Rob Morgan, Investment Analyst at Charles Stanley Direct: “Investing is one of the most important ways to take charge of financial security and grow your wealth. But with half of women admitting to not doing this, they find themselves instantly caught on the back foot, widening the investment gap between men and women. Given that women are also most likely to take career breaks in their lifetime and have longer life spans, it’s crucial that women make their money work harder for them in order to safeguard their future.

“Many women want to try investing and just need a helping hand to give them the confidence to make that first step.”

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