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Hargreaves Lansdown Launches Initiative To Bridge Gender Investment Gap

Amanda Cheesley Deputy Editor London 8 March 2023


On International Women’s Day, Hargreaves Lansdown, a UK-based asset manager, launched a new Financially Fearless initiative designed to help close the gender investment gap.

New data from Hargreaves Lansdown shows that 62 per cent of people who hold a stocks and shares ISA with the firm are men.

When women do invest, the firm said that they build impressive investment portfolios. Out of their ISA clients, women who have taken the plunge and invested in ISAs holding more on average in them than men. Women are also more likely to adopt a ‘get rich slow’ strategy, holding around three quarters of their ISA assets in funds.

Financially Fearless is consequently an initiative aimed at creating a space where women can learn how to build their financial resilience and invest with confidence.

Maike Currie, head of content at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity, and it strikes at the heart of what we are trying to achieve. Yes, women have equality in legislative terms, and that of course is a good thing. But we have a long way to go before we achieve true equity. As an industry, we need to work harder to get the opportunities and resources in place fit for the choices, circumstances and challenges women often face.”

Women are also far more likely to invest on behalf of others, the firm said. “When we looked at the gender split between men and women investing in children’s junior stocks and shares ISAs the contributors were evenly split in terms of gender. Another indication perhaps that often women put other’s needs ahead of their own,” she continued.

To truly embrace equity, the firm believes that focus needs to be put on the resources and opportunities women need to get on that equal footing. It’s not only about what women earn in comparison with men, but also about truly understanding what women have and keep in comparison with men.

This means having more than one or two lone voices talking about this. Financially Fearless ambassadors who are backing the initiative include Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, Sarah Coles, head of personal finance, Helen Morrissey, head of pensions research, and Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research.

Streeter said: “Money is an ever-present force pulsing through every part of our interaction with the world, so you’d think that by now we’d have got the hang of it. Instead, money is often an emotional burden. It can keep us up at night, extinguish our hopes and it can lead to depression. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Far more men hold a stocks and shares ISA compared to women but when our female clients do invest, they hold their own and often pursue more responsible investment strategies.”

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