The gender pay gap has been dominating the news cycle in recent months, and rightly so. Those shining a light on financial inequality have begun to make progress in ensuring no matter whether you’re male or female – you’ll be paid a fair amount for the work you do.
Despite steps being made in the right direction to make wages more balanced, there are a lot of other factors which place women at a financial disadvantage.
Everything from funding childcare to student debt repayments and even pension savings show a level of bias towards women when compared to a man in the same situation begging the question, is the financial system rigged?
Read on to find out how multiple factors you didn’t even consider are limiting female fiscal success.
1 – Studies have shown that divorce proceedings affect women more than men due to a disparity in comparable pension wealth and a measurable decline in their long-term income.
2 – Men hold most of the senior roles in finance (approx. 80%) which seems to reflect each gender’s view of their own financial knowledge. Despite research showing that UK women are ahead of men in overall financial literacy they often underestimate their understanding of financial products and services.
3 – Work isn’t just confined to the workplace. It’s been found that women put in over a day’s worth of extra hours unpaid at home – ten more than the average man.
4 – Despite emphasis being placed on the value of a mother’s time with her child, the financial reality sees a woman’s wage potential drop every year she is absent. With women being responsible for almost ¾ of overall childcare – this is a heavily gender-specific issue.
5 – Even areas you would assume were a level playing field can see the deck stacked against women who, studies have shown, require longer to pay off student fees due to ongoing wage disparity.
6 – When it comes to paying for care, you may be surprised to see just how much more women spend on average due to higher care requirements and a longer life expectancy than men.
7 – Having responsibility in a care role (often looking after both elderly relatives and children) is much more likely to fall to women and, as a result, they are much more likely to put their career on the backburner.
8 – It’s much more common for women to act in a care role than it is for men with around 20% fulfilling this role at some point in their lifetime.
9 - Women generally amass around ½ of the pension pot of male workers. This is partly because it’s still legal for employers to contribute less to a woman’s pension pot, due to their longer life expectancy.
10 – Men earn at their ‘peak potential’ much later than women, making it more beneficial for them to stay in the workplace to retirement age.
11 – Although this may seem like something that shouldn’t be an issue in this day and age, women still consider removing wedding or engagement rings during job interviews to prevent the possibility of discriminatory judgements from a prospective employer.
12 – Although there’s a huge drive to get more women into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) careers which is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, studies show that there’s still a need for cultural change in these workplaces.
13 – More than half of prospective employers think that women applying for a role should state up front if they are pregnant.
14 – Further to the previous point, almost 50% of business owners believe it’s acceptable to ask whether women have young children during their recruitment.
15 – Women will often have to pay more than men for directly comparable toiletries. There is also the so-called ‘tampon tax’ which controversially adds VAT onto the price of an essential item that should be exempt – although the latter may be coming to an end during 2018 if the government follows through with their pledge to do so.
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