The idea of wealth means so many different things to so many different people. For me, wealth provides freedom for me and security for my son’s future. But to other people, it may mean something completely different. From happiness and health to retirement and freedom, the meaning of wealth varies from person to person.
With our founding partners, The WealthiHer Network is on a mission to advance women by transforming female financial futures. While we often understand our own situation and perspective, how much we know about those living on the other side of the world is often lacking. And as I always say, you cannot change what you don’t understand.
Which is why I am so pleased to announce that in partnership with Tatler Asia, we have launched our latest report, ‘The Changing Faces of Women’s Wealth in Asia 2020-2022’. The last time we conducted a piece of research like this, the world was a vastly different place. The pandemic put us all in a spin and upended almost every aspect of our lives. So, let’s look forward. With a specific Asia lens, this report delivers a fresh, new perspective and agenda for change as we embark on our mission to advance women’s futures.
“We are delighted to celebrate the growing financial confidence of women in Asia as they become increasingly influential and impactful in the region. HSBC is comitted to empowering women to drive change through their businesses, investments and advocacies.” – Annabel Spring, CEO, Global Private Banking and Wealth at HSBC.
If women make up 50% of the world’s population, why isn’t our share of the wealth proportionate to this? There are, sadly, many reasons. From deciding between raising children and a career, all the way through to the lack of confidence women have in finance. There are so many obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of women and their wealth and success. This is why I am fighting back. And why we all should.
“If women hold up half the sky, then they should also hold up half of wealth! Financial freedom is one of the most important skills that women should train hard for and aspire to win in!” – Angelina A. Kwan, CEO at Stratford Finance and WealthiHer Network Ambassador.
Women are a valuable force
Our research has shown that 32% of the world’s wealth is held by women. With a 10% annual growth rate, women’s wealth is estimated to grow to $93trn by 2023. A huge 40% of this being held by women in Asia alone. Women are adding more to the global wealth group than any other distinct group and Asia, Japan aside, is growing faster than any other region. We are moving in the right direction; the potential of women is being realised and we are advancing forward. With women’s wealth growing year on year, our value only increases with it. Women are a valuable force, and it’s time that was recognised and women were better catered to.
Drivers of female wealth
- Globally, women are better educated than ever before as we can see that women 38 and below are the best educated of any generation of women who have gone before them.
- In 2021, we saw women rise up and grow into more leadership roles. The proportion of women in senior management jobs grew globally by 29%, the highest ever recorded! In Asia, this is a significant driver in increasing women’s wealth. 98% of women between 22 and 38 are in professional careers, which is a jump of 20% from their grandmothers, of which 29% of them are in senior management positions. Pursuing careers allows women to earn a greater share of their own wealth than was possible with young women of prior generations. This finally gave women control over their economic advancement.
- Lastly, entrepreneurship. 1 in 3 businesses globally is owned by women. Women are continuing to take their careers into their own hands by setting up their own businesses. Bravo!
Despite the rise of women’s wealth, economic gaps remain
While this may all sound positive, and it is in a lot of ways, there are still many economic gaps between men’s and women’s wealth. The four main gaps include funding, investment, financial confidence and finally, the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap is 20% in Hong Kong, Singapore, and China. And through lack of investment, women lose $1 million over the course of their lifetime. Funding for female founders is lacking too in that just 2% of global venture capital goes to female founders. These statistics show the loss of economic opportunity for female founders and for the economy. Women lose out in so many different areas, there is so much working against us. Which is why we are taking those first steps to right these wrongs.
“People around the world recognise that gender equality is an issue of our time. And that is an issue that has been made more urgent by Covid.” – Tiffany Pham, Founder of Mogul.
What does wealth mean to women in Asia?
For 49% of Asian women, wealth really does equal health, and understandably so after a global pandemic. This is unlike the UK where freedom is valued much higher. The idea of freedom is still ranked highly for women living in Asia with 42% of women believing freedom to live how they want was the true meaning of wealth. And 34% believed happiness was. When we looked closer at different regions in Asia we noticed that in Singapore, wealth is more closely tied to happiness, whereas health is more important in Hong Kong. And for women in China, a good work-life balance is the main driver of wealth. Comparing this data to that of Asian men, we can see that women choose aspects of life that contribute to a greater sense of well-being, both physical and mental, while men hold financial elements such as financial security in much higher regard.
Women are a force for good
68% of women in Asia want to invest in businesses that are sustainable and socially responsible; while 75% believe investing responsibly is more important than returns. They also want to give back to their communities. Women are a force for good, they are socially and environmental conscious. Therefore, unlocking female wealth is to the benefit of everyone.
Through our research, we have heard in their own words how women in Asia feel about finance and wealth; how well equipped they feel and how they are treated by the industry. With 62% of women feeling misunderstood by the finance industry, we now understand their pain points and have a much greater understanding of the direction that we need to collectively head in. While the picture looks positive, our research has highlighted some key areas where change must happen. We are not in the business of highlighting issues or raising awareness without acting upon them. Along with our amazing partners, we at The WealthiHer Network work together as a collaborative powerhouse of like-minded individuals who are committed to using these findings to plan ahead, strive forward and set our course for the year ahead.
If you are interested in becoming a partner and helping us transform female financial futures, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.