Millennial women less financially confident than millennial men

05 May 2017

New research from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) reveals that millennial (18-35 year old) women feel more financially anxious than their male peers. This is particularly concerning as they have the smallest gender pay gap (5%*) of any age group and therefore should arguably be at their most financially confident.

Key financial indicators

Research of 1,001 millennials revealed that women were less financially confident than millennial men across a series of key financial indicators.

  • They were less optimistic about career advancement (55% of women versus 61% of men)

  • Almost twice as likely to report a decrease in their salary over the last six months (14% of women versus 8% of men).

  • They were more likely to report increasing bills over the last six months (41% of women and 33% of men)

  • Almost three times as likely to say they had borrowed more over the past six months (33% vs. 12% of men).

Women were more likely to feel that the pressure to save for the future had increased in the last six months (51% of women and 36% of men) although they were less optimistic about purchasing a home (26% vs. 35%) which is often a significant savings goal.

Worse off than their parents

Similar proportions of millennials of both genders felt that they were less able to save than their parents (men – 57% and women – 58%) and that the basic cost of living is higher (men – 85% and women – 88%). However, more women (37%) than men (30%) felt that they had worse ‘life opportunities’ than their parents’ generation which suggests that while the gender pay gap may have improved, they still perceive barriers to achieving their ambitions.

Confidence and knowledge

Additional Pan-European research** released earlier in the year also suggests that women are generally less confident in their financial knowledge so less inclined to take calculated risks. However, the same research shows that the actual gender financial knowledge gap is smallest among millennials suggesting their lack of financial confidence may well be unfounded.

Director of External Affairs, PLSA, said,

“...Employers need to ensure that they are engaging with this age group and helping millennials to feel more confidence about their retirement choices.”

Read the full press release from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.