Only 23% of Belgian women said they had investments of their own, as against 37% of men, according to the ING Focus on Patrimony. They also invested a smaller percentage of their wealth, 21% as against 29% for men.
Women tend to invest smaller amounts because “they have fewer resources than men,” according to surveys conducted by the bank, which also noted that fewer women than men declared having more than 12 times their net salaries in savings (21% as against 30% of men). Moreover, they are less likely to be the main breadwinner in their household than men.
These disparities stem mainly from the inequalities existing on the labour market, including the fact that women’s hourly wages are on average 6.5% lower than men’s and that they have a lower employment rate. When these factors are taken into account, the wage gap between the sexes is 31.1% on an annual basis, according to ING.
Differences in approach, particularly in terms of confidence, also have an impact on the gender gap in investment.
This fear or lack of enthusiasm for investment can affect women at retirement, the bank warned, noting that they tend to live longer that men and thus need to cover a longer lifespan with less income after they retire.