The exam question: how do we encourage more women to consider investing and to remove the gender investment gap? Just 12% of women have stocks and shares ISAs and their balances are on average £10,000 less than men’s. Some of this is socioeconomic. But some of it is about attitudes and beliefs. What can we do about this? If you’re struggling to care, then consider this. If the same % of women invested the same £ as men, there would be over £100bn more invested in the UK.
At our latest Women Invest Too event, kindly hosted by Schroders, a group of 100 men and women at all stages of their careers debated this challenge. Our target was to gather the views of a whole range of speakers and the people in the room and to distil 5 summary action points we can all take back to our businesses. Here they are:
1. We need board support and senior buy-in - as much as we make the right noises, without a senior sponsor and without senior pay and objectives aligned to this as a metric, we can’t move the dial. A tiny piece of wood is a splinter; a large piece is a club!
2. Talk to women where they are - don't just hang out in the personal finance pages of the national newspapers preaching to the converted. Think about where you are online and what the conversation is.
3. Consider products which walk the walk - if diversity produces better outcome in companies then this should drive product and investment decision making. What role can asset managers play as shareholder activists?
4. Relevance - we know we have to talk to people about life events not products. We save for outcomes, not for the thrill of tracking the oil price, peso or FTSE.
5. Testosterone score. Read out aloud anything you suspect would make your partner / friends/ children roll their eyes at you. Does anything fall into the “make Mummy proud” school of marketing? You think you sound terribly clever but no-one understands it and you sound like a pompous ass to the rest of the world!?
We challenge you to take these 5 points back to your business and share with your colleagues. #womeninvesttoo