Gender inequality is still a problem worldwide and has many facets. One aspect is to end the financial and professional discrimination against women. A calculation by the United Nations shows that it would take almost 300 years to achieve full gender equality worldwide at the current rate of progress. In the financial sphere, the still very different income and wealth levels of men and women stand out. In Germany, for example, women earn on average 18% less than men and receive 53% less pension.
High pension gaps and low equity exposure
“Despite the high pension gaps, only one in eight women is engaged in the stock market. That has to change,” says portfolio manager Katharina Seiler. Even if the financial disadvantages of women are still pronounced, there are definitely rays of hope: according to data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the income differences between the sexes are significantly lower for young workers newly entering the labour market than for those who have been in the workforce for longer. And there also seems to be a change in thinking about capital investment. In 2022, more women (482,000) than men (338,000) in Germany decided to start investing regularly in shares, reports the Deutsches Aktieninstitut.
Social factors influence corporate success
Gender equality also plays a major role with regard to the investment or company perspective. “Social factors such as the fair treatment of employees, flexible working conditions or gender diversity increasingly determine corporate success,” says Seiler. A higher gender diversity in companies, as evidenced by an above-average proportion of women in management positions, for example, tends to lead to higher returns on equity and lower earnings volatility. Gender equality would also have an extremely positive effect on global growth prospects – according to World Bank calculations, gross national product per capita would be almost 20% higher.