Celebrating International Women’s Day

As I look to celebrate International Women’s Day with an afternoon invite to Downing Street and an evening with the shadow Chancellor, I hope you are all feeling empowered by the women you are or that you have in your lives.

Retired, but young woman on a bench, enjoying life

Progress has been made on closing the gender gap, but there’s been no shortage of headlines recently about the work that still needs to be done, and that’s why IWD is important to celebrate, but why we, as a business, focus on gender equality all year round. One area we’ve been researching recently is the ‘at retirement age’ cohort of 55-75 year olds.

The Great Retirement Study

The Wisdom Council’s recent, collaborative study – The Great Retirement – in partnership with abrdn, Rathbones and M&G, revealed that women are far more likely to feel anxious about retirement and worry about financial hardship. Women also fear retirement more than men, with concerns about their ability to look after themselves and loneliness ranking high.

And they are right to. Scottish Widows’ Women in Retirement Report reveals that women retiring today still face a £123,000 Gender Pension gap. This gap is forecast to be £100,000 for a 25-year-old woman today by the time she retires – progress is practically non-existent! Unsurprisingly, our study also found that women were less prepared financially for retirement – obvious really when we consider the gender pay gap, and the higher rate of part-time working in women so that they can carry out caring responsibilities around their jobs.

Looking back to our Yes She Can research, we know the challenges women can face in retirement go unseen by female consumers due to the industry’s inability to engage women – the world’s most sophisticated consumers.

Despite these concerns, women over 45 are the most powerful consumer group on the planet, controlling 50.3% of all consumer spending. In all other aspects of their lives, women in this age group are confident, financially aware, and pragmatic. They have aspirations and ambitions that do not end with retirement, and many intend to keep working in some form and on their own terms. Our Yes She Can research also revealed that women are ambitious for their futures, wanting to do more not less. Using this as a basis to engage this cohort, we have been sucessful in reaching over 4 million women on social media with investment messaging in a language they understand.

Women need the Financial Services industry

Our Great Retirement research highlights the need for greater support for women as they approach retirement age. By recognising the unique challenges women face and applying fresh thinking into how to reach and engage women, we can help them have the agency, control, and choice they need to thrive in retirement and beyond.

I was recently taken by the Martin Lewis’ Money Show Pension Special, and I wasn’t alone, millions of viewers also tuned in and it was the most popular show on TV the night it aired. In preparation for the show, almost 50,000 people took part in a Twitter Poll. If that doesn’t prove pensions can be engaging, I don’t know what will! Martin himself described the show as “probably one of the most important shows I’ve done”.

Women  are interested in pensions when they have relevant content, delivered via a medium they enjoy engaging with and in a format that is friendly to them – and no, that doesn’t mean in pink…

Find out more about The Great Retirement

Join us for our upcoming webinar to learn more about our research, this important issue and how we can help engage women to support them in retirement. We will be joined on the panel by our segmentation partner, who will be bringing the six segments to life via a live, interactive demo of their real-time dashboards. The dashboards capture brand, media and influencer affinity and can demonstrate where your customers fit into our six personas.

Sign up to find out more.

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The Wisdom Council

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