Frankly, it 's sad to point this out but financial gender inequality is still an issue, particularly in well documented areas such as pay and leadership. But as a new study has recently pointed out there’s also another quite significant gap that needs some immediate attention. There is a significant discrepancy when it comes to financial literacy in women compared to that of their male counterparts.
A study undertaken by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), conducted last year and has pointed out 3 very telling statistics;
On average, men scored 15% higher than women on financial knowledge.
Lack of confidence is the obstacle preventing women from using their knowledge.
Women experience more stress than men in financial matters.
As far as Canadians overall financial wellness status, FCAC also did a survey on our countries overall financial well-being and Canada’s score was only 65%. That's a below average score compared to other similarly educated and populated countries.
So what happens if we don’t address the financial literacy and well-being gap for women?
As discussed in a recent globe and mail article, Donna Smith, the director of MBA programs at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University stated, "Women may regress into gender-related stereotypes, traditional lower-earning careers or remaining dependent on others. The world of finance is changing at the speed of light and women and men need to keep up with developments, just as we adapt to new versions of software for our computers and updates to our phones. For girls, if financial literacy starts young, and builds as they transform into women, they will become confident, knowledgeable contributors to their lives, businesses and society."
A better financial future for all can start by giving those who need it most the proper attention. Financial wellness education needs to be an activity that takes place much earlier in life and it can also be better addressed later on in life by those who are in adequate positions of authority for its provision. One of these entity would be employers.
Just like a parent can teach their kids how to better manage their money so to can an employer teach their employees. Imagine the difference it would make if every employee put just 10% of their income into savings accounts since the onset of their employment. Small steps in education and literacy can have huge impacts on an individuals future state of financial wellness.
Giving all of us a reliable and trustworthy place to turn for financial wellness would be a great first step in seeing that these gaps get smaller, and are hopefully completely eliminated in the not to distant future.