Is that still true today? Feminists may now cry out and vehemently deny the question.
But a look at recent surveys and experiences of men and women paints an ambivalent picture. Women want to be financially independent, but do too little to achieve it.The old role model says: Men bring the money home, women take care of the household.
Fact 1: Gender pay gap is 16 percent
On average, women in the EU earn about 16% less than men. This difference is called the gender pay gap. In 2015, the difference was still 21. So women are catching up. The figure is calculated as an average across all career stages and age groups. It is striking that the difference increases with age. Women are less represented in leadership positions and their work experience is shorter on average. When these factors are adjusted, the difference rises by one percent to 17.
If one takes however Germany into the visor, the numbers are ernuchternd. Together with Estonia and the Czech Republic the largest difference between the salaries of men and women opens up here. An average of 21% speaks volumes. A look at page 5 of the IAB brief report visualizes the differences in the wage gap at the district level in Germany. In Saxony, as in most of the new German states, it is far below the national average, between 6.9 and 16.9 %. This article takes a closer look at the IAB brief report with regard to its significance for Saxony.
The salary gap has been steadily decreasing over the years. This is also due to the fact that more and more women take care of their own finances, work despite having children and strive for leadership positions. They have become at least a little more assertive, self-confident and financially independent.
Fact 2: The more money women earn, the more confident they are with their finances
Saxons are saving and struggling to keep their money together. However, differences between the genders can be seen here as well. In March 2020, the financial portal Joonko published the results of a survey entitled "Do women save differently than men??" published. These differences emerged:
- Women save more often than men
- Women are more confident with their money as their income grows
- Men with low incomes are more optimistic than women in the same situation
- Women like to save for goals (for example vacation or car), men prefer to save than women under the aspect to increase the money
Some points unite men and women:
- Only 30 % ask their house bank when it comes to money matters
- Women and men over 30 prefer to do their own research on money matters
- the younger generation turns to family and friends for money questions
Fact 3: Women are less interested in business and finance than men
The Bankers Association looked at the gender aspects of investing and summarized the results in August 2019. Four aspects were highlighted:
1. Financial security and retirement planning
2. Financial affinity and financial knowledge
3. Savings and investment behavior
Financial security and retirement provision
When it comes to retirement planning, women start their lives with less money because they work less and have lower incomes, but they are still optimistic about their security. 70 % think they are well prepared for retirement, whereas men only think so at a rate of 54.
Financial affinity and financial knowledge
Women have caught up in terms of confidence in handling money. However, there are differences in the level of interest in economic and financial topics. Women are less interested in it than men. This is also reflected in an interim survey, in which women perform noticeably worse than men on questions of financial knowledge. In addition, women rate the complexity of banking transactions and financial investments significantly higher than men. They find financial products very complicated and do not want to deal with them.
Despite these differences in attitude, both genders spend roughly the same amount of time on their financial planning and retirement planning, although ignorance is likely to lead to poorer results. Precisely because women have to cope with less money, their financial knowledge should be more pronounced in order to make the most of their opportunities.
Savings and investment behavior
There are also differences in savings and investment behavior. Women generally save less due to their financial situation and their commitment to securities and shares is lower than for men. Security plays a much greater role for them. Women prefer safe investment products and avoid risky alternatives.
Although mobile banking has long since taken hold and men and women use digital products to do their banking in roughly equal numbers, a good two-thirds of women value good personal advice at their bank. For men, the figure is only 56. This personal advice has no gender-specific characteristics. An overwhelming 95% of women and 94% of men do not care whether they are advised by a man or a woman. They are fundamentally concerned with quality, not gender.
Fact 4: Women want financial independence, but the general conditions make it difficult to achieve it
Around three-quarters of single women consider financial independence important in a relationship. Women in a partnership also see it this way, but their share is only 64 %. If you take a closer look at the reality, you will see that it differs greatly from what you thought.
- In fact, around 35% of all men co-finance their partners, they are the main breadwinners.
- Only 13% of women have taken on the provider role in their relationship.
- The longer a relationship lasts, the more pronounced the weighting becomes.
Once a family is established, there are structural guardrails that make it harder for women to achieve and maintain financial independence. In practice, this means that men bring the money home, while women bring up the children and work at most part-time or hourly – with corresponding consequences for pensions and old-age provision.