The Gender Pensions Gap – Empowering women to build their financial futures
The year I was born 1975 was momentous with the Sex Discrimination Bill becoming landmark legislation and the UN marking the moment by naming it “International Women’s Year. We have come an incredible way in my lifetime, with the measures it introduced for a more gender-equal nation being viewed as unnecessary, and radical even. Among the Act’s many pivotal assurances was its allowance for women to open a bank account in their own name. This was the first-time women were empowered to truly save for themselves.
Although progress has been swift, we still have a long way to go towards gender balance with many women feeling unsupported by the finance sector.
With Pensions Awareness Day approaching this weekend (15th September), the WealthiHer Network sees no better time to raise awareness of the financial inequality between men and women caused by the size of their respective pension pots. Women aged 65 currently have a pension savings a fifth of the size of men and women ultimately expect to save almost £100,000 less than men. The Gender Pensions Gap is both an existing and increasing issue.
Enhancing retirement planning is well within the power of the financial services industry to fix with outreach and education. It’s crucial that we work together to tackle this, after all it’s the financial futures of over half of the population at stake here.
I spoke with Carla Morris, Wealth Advisor at Brewin Dolphin, an active member of the WealthiHer Network and she identified another reason for the timeliness of this issue: ‘We are in the midst of a societal shift, from the state and employer providing guaranteed retirement incomes, to a world in which the individual is being asked to take more financial and investment responsibility – and carry the consequences of the decisions that many feel ill-equipped to take.’
Interestingly, this more passive pensions planning we see from women contrasts their more risk aware approach to broader personal financial planning we identified in our recent ‘Understanding the Diversity of Women’s Wealth’ report. In theory then, this is a gap that simply shouldn’t exist and is perhaps relatively easy to address.
Whether it’s the result of a lack of financial understanding, taking time away from work to pursue a caregiving role, or a combination of these or the many other potential causes, the dichotomy between attitude and outcome needs eradicating.
I have seen first-hand how the financial inequalities between men and women prevail, are far-reaching and deeply entrenched. But given women’s relatively short history in the world of solo finance perhaps it should not be surprising. But I am ambitious now to facilitate fast-track change through the WealthiHer Network. The context we are working in is ripe for change with the topic of female equality never being higher on the agenda.
To close the Gender Pension Gap women must be made aware from a young age of the importance of saving for the future. Financial institutions must accept their role in providing this information and empowering women to act on it. This is where organisations like The WealthiHer Network step in.
Our Network is made up of partners from leading banks who use the Network’s insight on women’s attitudes towards wealth and the wealth inequalities they face to filter key financial information through to their female clients and beyond. This top-down, institution-to-individual approach facilitates vital changes at both an organisational and societal level.
But our Network is a fish in a vast pond. Other banks must follow suit and accept their role in ensuring women are not unjustly disadvantaged later in life. They must accept their responsibility in empowering women to make positive financial decisions which safeguard their futures.
As we continue the pursuit of financial equality, we all must reflect and build upon the pioneering, radical work of those who came before us, those who laid the foundations for change decades ago. If we do not, we risk doing them, ourselves and future women a damning injustice.
The WealthiHer Network partner with UN Women to champion change through innovation
The WealthiHer Network is delighted to announce we are now members of the UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC).
Recognizing the transformative power of cross-sector partnerships, UN Women created the GICC with private sector, academic and non-profit institutions that collectively wish to improve women’s access, participation and ability to innovate.
They created a set of principles designed in partnership with EY, to guide innovation in all industries, and ensure gender concerns and experiences are integrated into the design of new products and services.
The GICC principles offer advice, examples and benchmarks on how organisations in every industry can embed equality in their innovation process and accelerate the journey to true gender equality - a driving aim of the WealthiHer Network, a group of change agents working to change the financial sector from within.
This month, the WealthiHer Network hosted a panel discussion at the EY global innovation summit, highlighting the importance and impact of gender innovation. Panel members included Karen Rudich, Founder & CEO of FireDrake ltd, Rohan Malik, EY’s client lead for the World Bank and UN, and Bruna Braga, Head of Partnerships at MIT Solve, who shared examples of how the principles have been applied within their organisations, and how they will use them to guide future innovation.
UN Women believes we can all work together to help women and girls to design, shape and benefit from the technological transformations and innovations changing our world. We are grateful to all of our members for their ongoing support.
For more information on the GICC principles please visit
The WealthiHer Network opens the London Stock Exchange Market
Today, London Stock Exchange markets were opened by The WealthiHer Network, a partnership of leading financial organisations, including Barclays Private Bank, Brewin Dolphin, Brown Advisory, C5, Chubb, Close Bros Asset Management, HSBC Private Banking, Investec Private Banking, J.P.Morgan, Julius Baer, Kleinwort Hambros, Reddings Wealth Management, and supported by legal partner, Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth, all working to support female clients to grow and protect their wealth.
Co-Founder Tamara Gillan officially opened London markets on behalf of the Network partners,
“Banks and financial institutions have done a huge amount to change an industry that was entirely dominated by and aimed at men for centuries. They are to be congratulated for what they have achieved, however there is still a long way to go. Our research shows there are significant differences in attitudes to wealth between men and women, and it is essential these differences are accounted for. The WealthiHer Network is committed to championing the unique skills, expertise and attributes of women. We will break down the barriers preventing them from engaging more with the industry and help them on their individual journeys to success. We thank London Stock Exchange Group and the WomenInspired Network for their fabulous support and in joining us in celebrating the success and potential of UK women.”
Diane Côté, Chief Risk Officer, London Stock Exchange Group and Chair of Women Inspired Network (WIN)
“The WealthiHer Network aims to change the financial industry for women to improve the finance industry for everyone. To this end, they are committed to supporting female entrepreneurs, including wanting to see the number of female-led IPO’s grow from one in ten to one in three by 2025. And for me working here at the LSE this is something I can`t wait to witness.”
The WealthiHer Network was launched earlier this year to understand, celebrate, champion and better service women of wealth. The first phase of the Network’s activity is the recent publication of the largest UK research study into women’s attitudes – ‘The WealthiHer Network Report 2019: Understanding the Diversity of Women’s Wealth’. It includes a survey of over 2500 men and women, in-depth interviews and round table discussions with over 100 high net worth women. The report highlights the opportunities presented by women, 67% of whom stated making a social impact was of high importance when investing.
WealthiHer was hosted by Diane Côté, Chief Risk Officer, London Stock Exchange Group and Chair of Women Inspired Network (WIN).
Chubb and WealthiHer welcome Édéenne to The Ned
Annmarie Camp, Head of Personal Risk Services, Chubb welcomed guests to an exclusive WealthiHer Network event this week at the Ned in London. The fabulous designs of Maison Édéenne took centre stage. Guests viewed seldom exhibited ‘beyond bespoke’ jewellery which was revealed by torchlight in the Vault, the original strongroom of what was once a city bank.
Haute couture designer and artist, Édéenne shared her inspiring story to success, establishing herself as one of the most respected jewellers in Paris, “When I became a jeweller it was mid-life for me, when apprentices normally begin at 20 or sometimes even younger. It is a man’s world, with a strong French tradition. I am Canadian but I see obstacles as opportunities. And I knew this world was my world”
In this personal and fascinating account she also shared a photo of her 18 month granddaughter’. “My dream was to set up a House; to become one of the top Houses of High Jewellery, and I dream that one day my granddaughter will run it!”
Annmarie said: “We are delighted to introduce Édéenne and her amazing works to a new audience. At Chubb we insure people’s most valued possessions and today we heard the stories behind the pieces illustrating the incredible emotional and personal value jewellery can hold.”
It’s good To talk…Exchanging ideas and panel discussions
The WealthiHer Network was delighted to participate in this year’s Women of the Square Mile, held in May. Our stand in the main exhibition became a hub for ideas exchange and discourse on diversity. It was fascinating to meet and talk to so many inspiring women and men keen to shake up the sector.
James Paton-Philip from WealthiHer partner, Irwin Mitchell chaired a thought-provoking series of talks and panels on the theme of What’s In Her Wallet? This included a panel with Anabel Bosman, previously with Julius Baer, and WealthiHer Network co-founder, Tamara Gillan discussing the need for private equity funds to realise the opportunities that come from diversity and why it is a strength in investing.
Other participants in the successful event were Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair KPMG, Joanna Place, CEO Bank of England and representatives from a number of WealthiHer founding partners, including Dawn Miller from Chubb.
Next month we are looking forward to another exchange of exciting ideas at the Women in Finance Summit, a one-day conference tackling the big issues facing the sector. Tamara will be sharing her views in the first panel session of the day on Embracing change and managing disruptions, and Kirsty Moore from founding partner HSBC Private Banking will be contributing to a panel on how to support female entrepreneurs secure financial investment.
For information on the summit
The WealthiHer Network partners with The Fix
Michelle P King is an amazing and inspiring woman, dedicating herself to the fight for gender equality. As well as her work as a broadcaster and journalist, she leads the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change and is an Advisory Board member for Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign.
The WealthiHer Network is proud to have partnered with Michelle and her podcast The Fix, which shares the stories, challenges and triumphs of those taking action to advance women.
The first episode in our series features WealthiHer co-founder, Tamara Gillan and founding partner Lisa Francis, CEO of UK & Ireland Private Bank and Overseas Services at Barclays Investment Bank, discussing the different needs and attitudes of men and women when it comes to money and the need for the industry to adequately account for women as end users. The findings of the WealthiHer Report 2019: Understanding the Diversity of Women’s Wealth are examined including startling facts such as 67% of women want to make a positive impact with their investments.
Additionally, each week, a WealthiHer partner provides their “Fix” for women; helpful advice on how to navigate the world of finance and shoot for success.
Hear Hadyah Fathalla, Executive Director of C5 Accelerate and Kirsty Moore, Managing Director at HSBC Private Banking provide advice on networking and mentorship including Hadyah’s view that “if we work collectively to amplify each other’s efforts and successes, we are more empowered to build a strong professional network of women who can more effectively break existing barriers and achieve greater equality and parity in the workplace.” And Kirsty who urges women that by “ Increasing your visibility by widening your network also means building your professional brand, defining what you believe in and what you stand for”
Emily Cvijan, who works in Private Banking at Investec, shares advice around being comfortable in asking questions and Katie Waite an Investment Manager for 1762 from Brewin Dolphin, shares a tip on investment diversification.
To listen to these and more golden ‘fixes’ over the next 8 weeks click here
Report provides largest analysis ever of UK Women’s attitude to wealth
The WealthiHer Network Report 2019: Understanding the Diversity of Women’s Wealth, is the UK’s largest ever study into the female experience of wealth and the finance industry.
It takes into account the views of thousands of women, to better understand their attitudes to the financial sector and their experiences around wealth and success. The findings are significant, pointing towards differences between men and women and confirming that for women, whilst financial performance is important, personal goals are paramount. For women, wealth is not an end in itself . Wealth means creating opportunities, independence, and providing for those they care about. Irrespective of socioeconomic class, there is an overwhelming desire by women for wealth.
Some 67% said making a positive impact was of high importance.
The report collates a study of 2,542 British adults carried out online by research consultancy Kantar along with an in-depth survey, 1-2-1 interviews and focus groups with over 100 high-net-worth women.
The study found five ways the industry must improve to better cater to women:
- Make the industry more open and accessible with less jargon;
- Improve financial education;
- Offer a more personalised service;
- Provide better access to networks; and
- Include more women in finance roles.
The report, which launches May 1st 2019, was commissioned by The WealthIher Network whose founding partners are: Barclays Private Bank, Brewin Dolphin, Brown Advisory, C5 Capital, Chubb, Close Brothers Asset Management, HSBC Private Banking, Investec Private Bank, J.P. Morgan, Julius Baer and Kleinwort Hambros. It found:
- 73% of women believe men and women have different investment attitudes and styles;
- 71% of women said that men are more likely to take risks;
- Over two thirds of women (67.4%) said making a social impact was of high importance when investing;
- 59% of women interviewed said wealth is about providing for family, security and comfort;
- 70% of women surveyed had self-esteem levels of average or below average and this dropped further in certain contexts such as among divorcees.
The WealthiHer Network, which launched on International Women’s Day this year, was formed to transform the industry’s approach to women.
Co-Founder and entrepreneur Tamara Gillan said:
“Our report found that women believe financial performance is important, but personal goals are paramount. For women, wealth is not an end in itself but a means to an end.
We will work together with our partners to bring the necessary changes needed, in order that women are better served and championed.”
The report includes interviews with inspiring and successful women including broadcaster, author and Investec ambassador Claire Balding, HSBC Private Banking client, founder of Seraphine, Cécile Reinaud, Miishe Addy Co-founder and CEO Jetstream Africa and C5 Accelerate Alumna and social warrior Sian Sutherland co-founder A Plastic Planet who said,
“Money is amazing when you have it and terrible when you don’t. As an entrepreneur married to an entrepreneur, we have lived the rollercoaster of money for 30 years. It is never a smooth road - God knows why we chose it!“
The WealthiHer Network went live on International Women’s Day with
great support from the media and our founding partners
The WealthiHer Network launches on International Women’s Day
The WealthiHer Network, a group of change agents from the world of finance, who have come together to drive positive change, championing female investors, entrepreneurs and clients and celebrating the diversity of women’s wealth launches on International Women’s Day. It includes some of the world’s biggest banks and insurers, collaborating to make the financial world more female focused.
Despite predictions that by 2025 over 60 per cent of the UK’s wealth will be held by women, the financial industries remain dominated by men. The WealthiHer Network aims to change this.
Research, carried out by the world’s leading marketing research and consulting company Kantar, commissioned by the WeathiHer Network and released today, highlights the different attitudes to wealth between men and women.
The survey of 2,542 British adults, carried out online between February 14 and February 19, found:
Women (35 per cent) are over a third less likely than men (48 per cent) to set financial wealth as their main goal.
83 per cent of women say the main reason for wanting to be wealthy is to provide for their family.
Women (20 per cent) are almost half as likely as men (38 per cent) to take risks to maximise financial returns.
One-in-ten women say they would need at least £5 million to feel wealthy.
The WealthiHer Network founding partners include: Barclays Private Bank; Brewin Dolphin; HSBC Private Bank; Investec Private Bank; J.P. Morgan; Brown Advisory; C5 Capital; Chubb; Close Brothers; and Julius Baer.
Co-Founder Tamara Gillan said: “For women, money is not just an end, but a means to an end. They see the opportunities wealth creates for independence, the people they care about, the next generation, and for the benefit of everyone. But their diverse stories of success are not championed. We are going to change that. We are delighted to be launching the WealthiHer Network, a group of change-agents from the world of finance who have come together for the first time to champion female investors, entrepreneurs and clients.”