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Financial progress is a mixed bag for women in 2023

Women’s History Month is full of stories about progress.

Yes, some progress has been made.

It was not that long ago when banks could refuse women a credit card. That is, until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 was signed into law. 

Prior to that, a bank could refuse to issue a credit card to an unmarried woman, and if a woman was married, her husband was required to cosign.

Some progress doesn’t mean we can stop shedding light on the state of women’s financial health.

Because when it comes to things like investing, inflation, women in leadership, etc. — progress is more of a mixed bag. 

Here’s 5 things we need to be talking about:

1. Most Women Are Not Actively Investing

The GOBankingRates survey found that 57% of women are not actively investing. When asked why they are not investing, one-third of women (33%) cited a lack of money. This is unfortunately because you don’t need a lot of money to get started! 

The most popular investment vehicle among women are work sponsored retirement plans like a 401(k) or 403(b). Less than 10% utilize a brokerage account, IRA or investing app.

Getting starting investing doesn’t need to be complicated or take a ton of time. If you want to learn how to get started, but find the financial jargon overwhelming, check out my free guide 26 need to know investing terms right here.

2. Inflation Hit Women Particularly Hard

Over the past year, women had to face the challenge of dealing with inflation in addition to the “pink tax,” which refers to the extra costs that women bear for personal care items, clothing, and other products. As the ones who are usually responsible for household purchases, many women found it increasingly difficult to manage their budgets.

Considering these circumstances, it’s not surprising that women were more mentally affected by inflation than men. According to a recent survey by Stash, 60% of women reported that inflation was impacting their mental well-being, compared to 52% of men. 

3. Women Weren’t Able to Save Enough

According to a survey by Betterment conducted earlier this year, women did not save enough money in 2022. The survey revealed that 41% of women do not have any emergency savings, whereas only 28% of men reported the same.

Another survey conducted by GOBankingRates found that 40% of women have $100 or less in their savings accounts, compared to only 26% of men. Furthermore, women are more likely than men to report having less in their checking accounts, with 40% of women stating that they allow their minimum checking account balance to drop to $100 or less.

4. Women are Missing Out On and Leaving Leadership Positions

Despite modest gains in representation in leadership, only 1 in 4 C-Suite leaders is a woman (Women in the Workplace Report, 2022). Far fewer women than men are being promoted to managerial roles: For every 100 men who are promoted from an entry-level to a manager position, only 87 women and 82 women of color are promoted. 

What’s more, women leaders are twice as likely as men leaders to be mistaken for someone more junior — and 37% of women leaders have had a co-worker receive credit for their idea, compared to 27% of men leaders.

5. Roe v. Wade 

The U.S. became one of just four countries to roll back abortion rights in the past 25 years. U.S. girls and women now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers did in some US states. 

It’s not just a reproductive rights issue. One study found that abortion restrictions led to a drop of between 5 percent and 6.5 percent in average monthly salaries of women of childbearing age compared with the rest of the population. This is an economic issue too. 

For these reasons and many more, I’m committed to help everyone, regardless of how they identify, build knowledge that will help people make, keep, and grow their money. 

Feeling like you need some next steps but you aren’t sure where to start? 

Grab your free financial independence checklist right here to figure out your next steps.