All this will have big implications for asset managers. Take risk-profiling. Surveys show that men’s attitudes to risk are typically more gung-ho, whereas women are more likely to buy and hold, which leads advisers to conclude that men are less risk-averse. And men are more likely to say that they understand financial concepts, which might seem to suggest that they are more financially literate.
MS. VERVEER: But I do think as we talk about leadership this is one of those spaces, and one where you can have tremendous impact at the local level, even when you're doing many other things. One of the things Kim and I noticed when we were writing Fast Forward was that women today tend to look at whatever they do, whether it's starting a business, they want a real purpose for that business, whether it's trying to address some kind of a local challenge, that there's this sense of purpose. I really want to make a difference. Are we peculiar that way?
"Taking just one step can break the inertia holding many women back," said Taussig. "Whether you're just getting started building a plan, looking to become more active in managing you investments, or determining how to make your savings last through retirement, commit to following through with one new step toward that goal. In most cases, you'll find you're off and running. And there is no shortage of resources to help."
Do you need to hear that again? Nothing will make as big a difference in your retirement account balance as the amount you save. Even just adding an additional 1% can tip the scales significantly. A 35-year old earning $60,000 a year who puts an extra 1% (roughly $50 per month) into her retirement account will have an extra $3200 per year to live on in retirement (assuming a 7% rate of return and 1.5% raises.)
I am often amazed by how many intelligent, well-educated women have little knowledge and/or interest in investing and retirement planning. As a gender, we have to do something about this. Oh, that’s interesting, is a common response when women ask my friend, a female financial advisor, what she does for a living. And it is often delivered in a tone of voice that conveys just how interesting it is to have one’s teeth extracted or to find a piece of roadkill on one’s doorstep. The subtle cringe that shadows many women’s brows when a financial advisor mentions retirement planning or investment management has become a familiar sight.
Many companies in the financial sector are also guilty of perpetuating a male focus, Mr Tsivrikos adds. “The language and visual aspects of investing are still very male-dominated – even things such as bank notes, which have more images of men on them. The more we have female figures on money and as visual components in the world of finance, the more they will be engaged.
It’s safe to say that Wall Street and the financial marketplace is largely male-dominated. Women only run 2% of hedge funds and there are only a handful of top female managers. When we think of the world’s greatest investors, we think of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Benjamin Graham, Mohnish Pabrai… and no women. There definitely need to be more opportunities in investing for women.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Well, they go hand-in-hand. I mean, no matter where I've traveled in the world, you know, that when a woman not only has opportunity, is able to go to school for longer, there is a correlation between, you know, her sexual debut, first child, marriage, all of those things, which impact her freedom. I find that, and you see it, and I think it was in the first film that came up that when a woman has economic independence, she's more likely to put those funds towards her family. She'll be more likely to take care, and seek care earlier than she would otherwise, and so, you just see the thoughtfulness that goes into that. And without it it's a lot harder, you know, If you don't have decision-making power, if you don't have, you know, you're literally waiting for someone else to make a decision whether your life is worth saving. So, no one should be in that position, and I think to have more opportunities and more equality—obviously a woman is going to be better off, and you're going to see the impact in her family and in her community more than you would otherwise.