International Women’s Day: Bridging gender gap with push for more females investors

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
6 min read

As the financial sphere continues to be rocked by the effects of lockdowns, subsequent supply chain disruptions, an energy crisis and the long-forgotten notion of inflation, Camilla Dahl Hansen, Chief Experience Officer at Saxo Bank, argues that it is time to harness these societal changes and double down on efforts to get more women into investing.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

In recent years, more diverse groups, especially in age and gender, have entered the investment markets. For a long time, women have been missing from the landscape – but the industry is now seeing the tide turn. However, as markets are constantly changing, it is critical that momentum is maintained in creating an inclusive and diverse class of investors and savers.

According to a report by “Saxo Bank” seen by Al Arabiya English, the current energy crisis, as well as rising inflation and interest rates, have created further barriers for investors who fear increased expenses leading to imbalanced monthly cash flows. This is especially affecting both current and aspiring female investors that tend to be more cautious with their finances, making investing seem even more unmanageable.

The problem is compounded by new investors’ lack of knowledge in navigating market volatility. Many new investors are experiencing volatility for the first time and it’s important that they stay calm.

The current market situation can seem like a bad time to not only have money invested, but also as a bad time to start your investment journey in the first place. Despite a looming bear market, the financial sector can still do much more to remove and overcome obstacles that stand in the path toward financial equality.

The secret financial language

It is clear that there’s still a conservative cloud hanging over the financial and investment world. While there is a noticeable lack of female role models, what’s more prohibited are the conversations around investments being like an exclusive club where many think you need in-depth financial knowledge to be able to buy a single share or make any financial transaction at all.

A study by JP Morgan showed that around 64 percent of women think investing is complicated and 34 percent associate investments with volatility.

While some say those talking about the investment world often talk as if they are keeping secrets, this makes it more tricky to enter the market. Hence, Hansen believes it is important that the whole financial industry should continue to spread the message that investing is for everyone, not just a select few.

Of course, every investor should have some practical understanding of how investments work, including the period they will hold the investment for (the time horizon) and whether they will invest independently or through investment funds – where experts manage the finance (risk tolerance).

But when women take the plunge and start investing, the same research also emphasizes that 65 percent of women think it is difficult to tell how investments are performing and 42 percent would appreciate clearer communication around products. While 48 percent would also appreciate a simple guide to investing.

Improving communication and providing simple guides to investing will not only aid women in accessing opportunities but will also help other poorly represented groups in the markets as well as for any aspiring investor. As a result, there is even more motivation for the financial industry to be focused on dialogue, transparency, clear communication and accessibility for first-time investors.

Why women must invest

Less than one in five women invest regularly compared to more than three quarters who save regularly. This leads to reduced long-term horizons of the average person’s pension savings as there is an obvious difference between having just saved money and having invested savings.

Furthermore, we now live in a time in which the combination of soaring inflation and negative interest rates threatens to diminish savings if they are not invested properly.

Several studies testify that women on average are better at investing than men since they tend to diversify their portfolios better and make fewer transactions, which brings down their trading fees and prompts a higher return on the bottom line.

Accelerating the process toward financial equality

Hansen also states that cultural changes will not happen overnight, but an important step in the right direction is to be aware of the present cultural misconceptions, to address them and actively strive to solve problems that prevent women from investing to the same scale as men.

Whether the objective of investing is to take ones family on a vacation, to buy a new car or be able to retire at an earlier age, everyone should have the possibility to take control of their savings, according to the chief experience officer.

She also said: “From here, we need to establish conversations on inclusive investing and meet where investors are at – whether it is at their level of experience or at the place where they are looking for investment information. At Saxo, we have seen an increased interest from women and recognize it is everyone’s responsibility to support it. We have made progress, but the time has come to rise to the challenge and speed up the change.”

Read more:

Dubai’s 2024 housing boom: Tens of thousands of homes to hit market, prices to rise

Saudi SNB Capital launches new oil and gas fund in expansion push

AI the new obsession for venture capital investing

Top Content Trending