Men – on the whole – are much more confident than women about how they could handle a major unexpected finanicial expense, a survey shows.
A poll carried out for financial services giant Aegon suggests that 30% of men are confident that they could financially handle a major unexpected expense.
That compares to just 21 of women who think they could cope.
Aegon’s research also shows that more female employees – 76% v 72% – than male workers worry about money.
Aegon’s financial wellbeing survey was conducted prior to the coronavirus outbreak in December of last year but it highlights a “potentially worrying trend”, given the situation is likely to have deteriorated further in recent months for both men and women, according to Linda Whorlow, Managing Director of Workplace at Aegon UK.
Whorlow said thatr “worryingly”, 33% of female employees said that feeling under prepared for a financial emergency is a key cause of their money worries, versus just 26% of men.
More women (32%) than men (27%) reported they were just getting by financially.
The survey also found that more women (76%) worry about money than men (72%).
Whorlow said that it seems to be that the pressure of spending is felt by women when it comes to special events like Christmas and birthdays that women feel under more financial pressure than usual than men.
More than a quarter (26%) of women said that they feel under more financial pressure than usual when it came to birthdays of family and friends compared to just 17% of men.
While 64% of women said that they feel under more financial pressure when it came to Christmas compared to just 50% of men.
The survey also found that men are more likely to have access to financial education through their employer than women, as only 12% of female respondents worked for employers that offered financial education compared to 16% of men.
Female employees however, showed a greater appetite for support to help with their money worries than their male peers.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of female respondents to the survey said they would find general information highlighting steps to improve their financial wellbeing useful compared to 69% of men.
And 69% of female employees said they would find face-to-face counselling and advice by specialised staff or external consultants to address specific questions and concerns useful compared to 65% of men.
Whorlow said that the coronavirus pandemic “is likely to have exacerbated gender gaps across the board”, and financial resilience and money worries will be central to this impact.
She said: “Research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has already revealed that mothers are 14% more likely to have been furloughed than fathers.
“This compounds the pre-pandemic gender gap that women are more likely to be in lower-paid jobs, working part time or on a career break to raise a family, contributing to the state of their financial wellbeing. So their financial health is likely to suffer the most.”
Whorlow said that employers have an “important” role to play when it comes to offering financial education in the workplace.
She said: “For example, topics like budgeting, managing money and clearing debt could be covered in various formats such as webinars, vlogs and articles or through specific partner providers specialising in these areas.
“A stronger relationship with money will help employees build financial resilience and future proof their finances.”