Yes She Can press release

Financial and professional services firms collaborate to help close the savings and investment gap – and reveal a potential £350bn industry opportunity

In 2019, The Wisdom Council worked together with seven leading financial and professional services companies on an initiative that aimed to tackle the gender pensions gap, and answer the age-old question about why women don’t invest.

Over a six-month period, we worked collaboratively with Aberdeen Standard Investments, EY, HSBC Global Asset Management UK, Royal London Group, Scottish Widows, St. James’s Place and Vitality, joining forces to look at opportunities for the sector to address the savings and investments gap for women, in a meaningful way. During that time, we polled over 3,300 women nationwide to ascertain attitudes to finances, savings and pensions.

What started out as an initiative to test how to make investments more appealing to half the population unearthed some surprising findings and lead to the launch of our Yes She Can campaign. They included:

  • Women have simply never considered investing – even when they are part of a pension scheme, they don’t think of themselves as investors (75% of those polled didn’t know they were investors, even though the recruitment criteria included involvement in a workplace pension). 
  • Financial marketing campaigns often reinforce outdated mantras about women being risk averse and lacking in confidence – and this creates barriers. Women view themselves as strong, resilient and ambitious for their futures. They think of themselves as the ‘CEOs of their own households’ and regularly take controlled risks with money. 
  • Not only is the industry speaking the wrong language to women – it’s often having completely the wrong conversations, too. Most communications aimed at women have little or no impact, because of this.
  • Family and social circles play a huge role in a woman’s attitude to money, saving and investing: women are heavily influenced by those closest to them. When asked, 85% of women said that investing wasn’t for people like them.

It's good to talk

With our initial findings challenging industry attitudes to female investors, the next phase of our campaign involved a novel approach: to talk to women as consumers, in much the same way as their favourite brands would. 

We looked at purchase triggers and used large-scale data-driven insight in the form of behavioural analysis and social listening to create a digital campaign on social media. We then brainstormed and developed 60 ideas to engage and inspire women to invest and selected two to create ‘digital stories’ framed around real people and their lives. We tested these via 2,250 women and men using a short survey delivered by The Wisdom Council’s highly engaging AI-driven personal survey bot, Kit.

  • After viewing our targeted videos, which aimed to start open and honest conversations about money online, our survey results revealed a change in attitudes to investing, including:
  • A statistically a significant increase in women’s intention to invest with 21% clicking to ‘find out more’                                        (note: usual click-through rate is 1 to 2%)
  • Digital stories resonated with viewers: the highest scoring feedback was ‘inspired’ and ‘intrigued’
  • The total sample awarded the video a 4- to 5-star rating

By using technology and psychological ‘nudges’ we created ways to encourage women to consider investing. We engaged with them in their own language and prompted discussions around investments that opened up dialogue, discovering that auto enrolment is an untapped opportunity to create even more investors.

Anna Lane, CEO of The Wisdom Council says: “It will take a minimum of 100 years for the gender pensions gap to close. That’s just not good enough. The Yes She Can campaign has shown that if we work together, we can engage more women, get investing on their radars and encourage them to take action. But we need to make it part of their networks and conversations. This is a big challenge, and it isn’t possible for one firm to do alone. Yes, there’s a £350bn opportunity, but there is also a massive need to help women secure their financial futures. We need diverse minds working together so that the industry – and society at large – will benefit.”

You can discover more about how we engaged with women and encouraged conversations about finances and investing here. For more information about our research and insights, contact Anna Lane at

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We believe that the finance industry can play a significant role in addressing today’s social and environmental challenges. Working collaboratively across the industry, we play our part in the transition to a more sustainable future.

The Wisdom Council

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