How can we improve financial health amongst women?

Dani Skerrett

by , Senior Content Marketing Manager

at PensionBee

19 Dec 2022 /  

Close up of women saving money into a piggy bank

It may not come as a surprise to learn that women’s financial health’s statistically lower than men’s. In fact, a recent study by Investment Platform, Ellevest, found that financial health amongst women is the lowest it’s been in five years.

What do we mean by financial health?

Simply put, financial health (or financial wellbeing) is used to describe the state of someone’s finances. Factors that impact your financial health include your income, how much in savings you have, whether you have any debts or loans, as well as economic factors like inflation. And while we know there’s a gender pay gap, which leads to a gender pension gap, it’s also now apparent that there’s a disparity between genders when it comes to how they feel about their overall financial situation.

Why’s financial health in women so low?

Low financial health affects women of all ages - those who are older face a challenging economy which impacts their spending, and could leave them worrying about the finances they’ll have for their retirement, while women of a younger generation are battling with the cost of childcare, rising housing prices and job security. Some of the key indicators that contribute to a lower financial health for women include:


We know that there are historic income disparities between men and women. But what’s the state of play today? According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the gender pay gap among full-time employees in 2022 is 8.3%, which is up from 7.7% in 2021.

Reasons for this could include women filling more part-time roles and working in keyworker sectors, like education and healthcare. While these sectors tend to offer more flexibility, their employees disproportionately feel the impact of low pay.

Child and elderly care

The issue of access to affordable childcare and parental leave is one that’s closely linked to the gender pay gap and is also a key reason why women tend to fill more part-time roles than men. Our own research found that the gender pension gap could be closed completely if men took an equal share of childcare responsibilities.

But it’s not just childcare that plays a part in women falling short in terms of pay and savings. We also found that female savers between the ages of 50 and 64, who take on the caring responsibilities for elderly relatives, experience an hourly pay gap of 25% and end up with £139,451 less in their pension pot than their male counterparts.


So, bearing in mind that women earn less and tend to take time out of work for caring responsibilities in more cases than men, it’s no surprise that this impacts the amount of money that women are able to put towards savings like ISAs and pensions. If they’re enrolled in their workplace pension, the amount their employer contributes will also be less than their male counterparts, as employer contributions are based on a percentage of salary.

Global and economic changes

Global issues play a part too, and the effects of COVID-19, such as redundancy and school closures, have left women’s financial health worse off now than before the pandemic.

While inflation impacts everyone’s financial situation,