Money is a critical aspect of our lives. It gives us the means to purchase the things we need, the experiences we want, and the security we crave. And one of the most effective ways to build long-term wealth is through investing. However, for many years, women have had to face historic and social disadvantages that have prevented them from operating a level-playing field as men, experiencing the world as freely as they would love to, and achieving financial equity to build long-term wealth through investing. These disadvantages range from cultural biases to a lack of financial education. 

While equality avails everyone the same thing, equity provides everyone access to the right tools, opportunities and resources that they need to achieve whatever they need to achieve. For example, if Femi and Ginika were to share 600,000 naira, with equality, each person gets 300,000 regardless of what they need. With equity, each person gets an amount based on the level of their needs. Hence, the person with the higher need gets more money. This also applies to resources and opportunities. 

Some of the barriers women face in the fight for financial equity

Cultural Bias

Cultural bias is one of the most significant barriers that women face when it comes to investing. Historically, investing has been viewed as a male-dominated activity, and women have been discouraged from participating in financial markets. Even today, many women are still subject to societal pressures that suggest that they should leave investment decisions to men or other financial professionals.

These cultural biases often result in women being more risk-averse than men when it comes to investing. Women tend to avoid riskier investments, such as stocks, in favour of safer options like bonds or savings accounts. This cautious approach can lead to missed opportunities for growth and long-term wealth building.

To overcome cultural biases, women must first recognize that investing is not just for men. Women are just as capable as men when it comes to making sound investment decisions. Furthermore, investing can be a critical tool in achieving financial independence and security. By challenging these biases and taking control of their financial future, women can overcome cultural barriers to investing.

Lack of Financial Education

The lack of financial education is another significant barrier that prevents women from achieving financial equity through investing. Research shows that women are generally less confident and less knowledgeable about investing than men. According to a study by BlackRock, only 51% of women surveyed felt confident making investment decisions, compared to 67% of men.

One of the reasons for this disparity is that women often require a different level of financial education than men. Women tend to approach investing with different priorities and goals, such as planning for retirement or saving for their children’s education. Women may also have different financial responsibilities, such as caring for ageing parents or managing a household budget, which can impact their investment decisions.

To address these unique needs, financial education programs need to be tailored to the specific needs of women. This can include providing information on financial planning, risk management, and investment strategies that are relevant to women’s goals and priorities. Additionally, educational programs need to be delivered in a way that is accessible and engaging for women, such as through interactive workshops, online resources, and community-based programs.

Lack of Representation

The lack of representation of women in the financial industry has been a persistent issue for many years. According to a study conducted by the CFA Institute, women account for only 18% of the global investment profession. This underrepresentation of women in the financial industry can have significant consequences, particularly when investing.

One of the key consequences of the lack of representation of women in the financial industry is gender bias in investment recommendations and decision-making. Research has shown that gender bias is prevalent in the financial industry, with women often perceived as less competent and less confident than men. This bias can lead to women being excluded from investment opportunities and their investment decisions being undervalued or ignored.

Furthermore, women often have different investment needs and priorities compared to men. Women tend to live longer than men, have different career trajectories, and may have different family responsibilities. This means that women may require different investment strategies, such as investing in companies with policies that support work-life balance or investing in companies that prioritise sustainability.

Having more women in the financial industry can help to address these issues. Female financial advisors and mentors can provide a more inclusive and diverse perspective on investment decisions and can better understand the unique investment needs and priorities of women. Additionally, having more women in leadership positions can create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for women in the industry.

Lack of Confidence

Another barrier many women face when it comes to investing is the lack of confidence. According to a survey conducted by Fidelity Investments, 80% of women lack confidence in their investment abilities, with 92% citing a lack of knowledge or experience as the reason for their lack of confidence.

This lack of confidence can lead to hesitation and missed opportunities. Women may be more likely to hold back from investing, delay making investment decisions, or miss out on potential gains, which can have a significant impact on their ability to achieve long-term financial goals, such as retirement savings or building wealth.

Women can overcome this lack of confidence by educating themselves about investing and becoming familiar with its terminology and concepts. Additionally, women should start small and gradually increase their investments over time. By starting with a smaller investment, women can gain confidence in making sound investment decisions and build their knowledge and experience.

The Rise of Digital Investment Platforms

Fortunately, growth and advancements in technology have made it easier than ever for women to overcome these barriers to investing. Digital investment platforms, like Risevest, have made it easier for women to invest their money, regardless of their financial knowledge or experience.

Risevest is an online dollar investment platform that makes it simple for anyone to invest in global markets. The platform provides a range of investment options, from stocks to real estate to bonds, and offers a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. 

Risevest also offers a range of educational resources, including articles, videos and financial community groups, that can help users build their knowledge and confidence in investing, making it an excellent choice for women who are new to investing.

Finally, investing is a critical tool in achieving financial equity, but women still face significant barriers when it comes to investing. Cultural biases, lack of financial education, and a lack of confidence can all prevent women from participating in financial markets and building long-term wealth.

However, with the right tools and knowledge, like Risevest, women can overcome these barriers and achieve financial equity through investing.