Women have been struggling to make progress with financial confidence and decision making this decade, and the trend is downward in several ways, Allianz Life reported this week.
At the same time, fewer women today work with a financial professional than in recent years.
In a new survey, 38% of women identified as the breadwinner in their household, compared with 47% in 2016 and 60% in 2013 who did so. Only 42% reported having more earning power than ever before, vs. 50% in 2016 and 57% in 2013. And slightly less than half said they were their household’s chief financial officer, compared with slightly more than half in the two previous periods.
Not only that, but just 27% of women in the survey said they had asked for a raise or promotion at work, compared with 44% in 2016, and 62% of women this year said they felt financially secure, vs. 68% three years ago.
“These findings were quite surprising because women have come a long way when it comes to our roles in work and family, yet we don’t feel prepared financially,” Aimee Lynn Johnson, Allianz Life’s vice president of financial planning strategies, said in a statement.
The Allianz Life Women, Money and Power Study was based on an online survey conducted in April among a nationally representative sample of 900 women, ages 25 to 75, with annual household income of at least $30,000. Some questions were resurveyed from 2013 and 2016 studies.
Why are women not feeling more empowered about their financial future?
“Women might be feeling worried about what they see happening in the markets, since nearly half of women say volatility in the market is making them anxious,” Johnson said.
“Despite women doing well in many other areas of their lives, this could be weighing heavily on them and translating to how they feel about their own finances.”
Angst these days about market volatility is rattling many investors and their advisors, according to a recent study.
Allianz Life’s survey also found that 57% of women wished they were more confident in their financial decision making.
Johnson noted that a spotlight has shone on female empowerment and the accomplishments women were making in recent years, including college graduation rates and the narrowing of the wage gap.