Women and Money: Different approaches to investing

women and money

Last year, at the ProShare Annual Conference in London, Fidelity shared an overview of our recent study of women investors and Women & Money program.

As part of this initiative, we are keen to understand and help mitigate the financial challenges faced by women around the world – most recently we have undertaken a global survey that demonstrates the key challenges and aspirations of women when it comes to their finances.

The challenges

From our studies, we have found that women generally have a ‘fear of investing’. They have told us that they feel they lack confidence, don’t have enough information, have time constraints, and generally that societal expectations and norms aren’t conducive to women being financially focused:

  • 33% don’t have a savings account1
  • Only 18% feel like investing is for people like them1
  • Only 26% own an investment product1

Even during the conference session live-polling, the majority of the audience thought that their female employees most lacked confidence in general financial planning. So this is much wider than just share plans.


According to research, the landscape for women is evolving, so this is a great time to support this change in the tide within your firm:

  • 57% would like to be more financially independent1
  • 10% of women currently investing, started in the past year2
  • 54% of female investors rate their stock market performance as successful2
  • 46% manage their investments independently, without the help of an advisor2

Some companies are already in the process of supporting an ‘investment culture’ through increased investment into employee benefits programs, and better communications. Many companies use various demographic data like gender, age, location, and pay to help guide this decision-making for their share plan programs. These data points are all easily available in-house. It is also worth asking business partners for insights across other areas to help make the right choices for your employees and reward programs:

  • Internally - what learnings and data do other teams have that you can use?
    • Employee Benefits/Rewards teams
    • HR/talent management teams
    • Externally - what data/trends/insights are there in the market?
      • Share plan administrator
      • Advisor
      • Industry organisations

In previous studies at Fidelity, focused on employee/ participant behaviours specifically in equity compensation, we have found that the challenges faced when choosing investments like shares, are not just limited to women - but younger generations and other demographic groups too.3

In our experience, we have found that companies that seek to address these challenges of communication and education, typically see an uplift in their overall share plan take up. Easy ways to achieve this:

  • Simplify jargon
  • Put it in terms that are relevant to your employees
  • Personalise/ customise information where possible
  • Make information easy to access
  • Provide information at the relevant steps of the investment journey

From making easy changes at no cost, to partnering with a consultant to create a defined strategy, there are ongoing developments in approach that can be taken.

Next Steps:

It is clear that simplifying investing, leads to a positive change in investing for most employee groups. And considering that in today’s competitive recruitment landscape, where equity is considered as a ‘must have’, it is more imperative than ever to have a cohesive, coherent benefits approach for employees to attract and retain the talent needed.

Enhancing the employee experience through all available tools across all benefits and rewards areas is key. To find out if your current employee experience is inclusive - take this quiz and find out if you are a ‘Share Plan Rock Star’ and learn how you can have a #1 hit!

1 in 5 women are struggling financially1

Learn more about our Women & Money initiative and survey:


Emma-Lou Montgomery
Fidelity Personal Investing
Associate Director

Learn more about Fidelity Stock Plan Services:

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Sophie Altaf
Fidelity Stock Plan Services
European Industry Relations & Marketing Lead

About Fidelity

Fidelity works with institutions and individuals to find the best solutions for our clients’ needs, today and tomorrow. We support 20,000 employers to enhance their employee experience and engage employees for the long-term. Through our workplace solutions and consulting teams, we support clients’ employee benefit needs including:

  • Equity Plans
  • Pensions
  • Healthcare
  • Financial Wellness
  • Employee Experience
  • Human Capital Consulting


1Source: Research conducted by Opinium research between 7 January and 17 January 2022 among 14,052 men and women in the UK, Germany, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.UK-specific findings taken from the global study are based upon sample of 2,010 (991 men and 1,008 women).

2Source: Research conducted by Opinium Research on behalf of Fidelity International between 4 and 14 February 2022 amongst a sample of 1,000 UK investors.

3Source: Fidelity Stock Plan Services 2018 Participant Survey, March 15, 2018

Stock plan recordkeeping and administrative services are provided by Fidelity Stock Plan Services, LLC.

Fidelity refers to one or both of Fidelity Stock Plan Services and it’s affiliates and Fidelity International. Fidelity International and Fidelity Stock Plan Services LLC are separate companies that operate in different jurisdictions through their subsidiaries and affiliates. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

© Fidelity International 2023. All rights reserved.


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