When Rep. Katie Porter ended her troubled marriage, leaving was tough, but one thing made it easier: For years, she had handled the family’s investments and savings plans, and she was confident that she and her children would be OK.
“It was really important to me to know that I would be able to feed and house and care for my children that next month, and the month after that,” Porter, D-Calif., said of leaving her husband, who she said had physically abused her.
Not enough women, she said, see competency in personal finance as key to freedom and security.
A study published in June by the Swiss banking group UBS underscored that point. It found that even the most educated and high-achieving millennial women were not as involved as their husbands in long-term financial decision making.
In fact, millennial women — part of a generation thought to have pushed for open-mindedness about gender roles — exhibited less financial independence than boomer women did. Among millennial women living with male partners, 54% said they deferred to their partners for long-term financial planning rather than sharing that responsibility or taking the lead themselves, compared with 39% of boomer women, according to the study, which surveyed 1,320 women with at least $250,000 in investable assets.
The primary reason those women deferred was a belief that their husbands knew more, the study found.
The gender gap in financial autonomy is especially critical now, with women at particular risk of getting sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic. Of the 1.1 million people 20 and older who left the workforce in August and September, nearly 80% were women, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center.
A study published last month by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that a third of mothers had considered leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers during the pandemic, with a majority of those citing child care challenges as a primary reason.
The UBS study also found that fewer millennial women than boomer women saw financial participation as necessary for equality, with 76% of millennials (ages 24 to 39) saying it was essential, compared with 89% of boomers (ages 56 to 74).
IIFL Wealth Hurun India List: Meet India’s Richest Women
An Equal Music?
The IIFL Wealth Hurun India Women Rich List is out. In its second year of existence, the list continues to celebrate women wealth creators in the country. And despite strong murmurs of an economic slowdown, this list has something to cheer about, after all.
The number of women in this year’s rich list has grown to 152 women. And while that can hardly be called an equal representation – with just about 16 percent of the total number of individuals – it’s a leap from previous years where women were hardly visible.
Here’s a list of this year’s entrants: