Survey insights from N26
Women and investing: Closing the gender gap
Investing helps us grow our savings, build wealth, and support projects we believe in. But the gender wage gap and other barriers often put women at an investing disadvantage compared to their male counterparts. To better understand their motivations and obstacles when it comes to investing, N26 surveyed over 16,000 women and men across five European markets. Here’s what we learned.
Women invest 29% less than their male counterparts—but nearly 2 of 3 want to invest more in 2022
We surveyed an equal measure of investors and non-investors in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Their answers revealed that, while women do not currently invest at comparable rates to men, there are reasons to be optimistic that the landscape is changing.
Here are some key insights from our survey data:
European women invest an average of €857.52 of their monthly income, with the majority investing €100–€499 per month. Austrian women appear to invest the most, averaging €999.37 per month.
European women invest 29% less of their monthly income on average than European men, who invest an average of €1,184.49 per month.
70% of women investors say they want to increase their investments over the next year. This is particularly true among Italian and German women, who report that they hope to increase their investments this year to an average of €1,735.82 and €1,438.97, respectively.
Top products and priorities for women investors
Women favor bank products, but crypto is on the rise
Our survey found that women investors prefer bank products—such as interest-bearing savings accounts—the most (37%). Cryptocurrencies are the third most popular investment vehicle, with nearly one in three women saying they invest in crypto. In fact, cryptocurrencies are the most popular investment product overall among women in Spain, and among all European women aged 18–24.
When it comes to investment priorities, value for money wins out
To understand how to improve investment opportunities for women, it’s important to know what women value in investment products. We found that women are primarily looking to stretch each euro they invest. 42% of surveyed women report that finding good value for their money—such as low commission fees or attractive interest rates—is the most important aspect of their investment choices. Men, on the other hand, overwhelmingly prioritize long-term yields.
Women prioritize long-term security over short-term gains
In terms of their key motivations for investing, women seem to favor long-term stability over risker short-term investments. 43% of surveyed women rank financial security and long-term wealth as their top priorities. Conversely, just 23% say that growing their money quickly is a primary objective.
Top motivators for women to invest
Challenges remain for women investors
Our survey data shows that there is no shortage of challenges for women, with a lack of money noted as the biggest obstacle among investors (45%). An even higher percentage of non-investors (54%) also cite a lack of money as the most common issue preventing them from investing. This may indicate larger, systemic challenges facing women today, such as pay disparities or the financial burden of caring for young children.
Challenges facing women who invest
Challenges facing women who don’t invest
How knowledgeable do women feel about investing?
Overall, less than half of all women who invest (48%) consider themselves knowledgeable about investing—compared to 59% of men. Italian women are the most confident investors at 55%, while only 30% of Spanish women say they are knowledgeable about investing. Non-investing women also indicate that lack of knowledge is a blocker, ranking it as the second most common reason why they don’t invest. Possible causes for this include a lack of access to educational resources and underrepresentation in the investment community at large.
Women are less likely to take investment risks as a result of the pandemic
The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a wide-ranging impact on markets and personal finances. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that nearly half of women investors say that they are less likely to take investment risks now than before the pandemic. 42% report that they have less capital to invest currently. This is most prominent in Italy, where 59% share that they have less money to invest now than they did pre-pandemic.
Empowering women to invest
Despite progress in recent decades, 60% of the women we spoke to believe that men still dominate investing. So, what might motivate women to invest more? Our data suggests several approaches that may help empower women to invest:
- Talking openly about investing. Open conversations can help women feel more confident about investing, whether they’re currently investors or looking to invest in the future.
- Expanding access to information and resources. Promoting access to educational resources—especially those designed with women in mind—could help address unique challenges that would level the playing field.
- Recognizing and addressing gender inequities. The pandemic only heightened some of the financial burdens faced by women, who statistically bear the brunt of childcare and domestic activities. Addressing these burdens and continuing to shrink the gender pay gap may also lead more women to invest with confidence.
Your money in N26
Opening a fee-free bank account with N26 is free and includes your own contactless virtual Mastercard that can be easily linked to Google Pay or Apple Pay. To have more control of your finances, N26 Smart Online Bank Account includes sub-accounts called Spaces to organize your savings according to your personal goals. These Spaces sub-accounts are like a digital piggy bank to help you save for a small project, a big investment, or a special treat (of which France is sure to be packed).
The survey was conducted among a total number of 16030 women and men in Austria (2006 survey participants from Burgenland, Kärnten, Niederösterreich, Oberösterreich, Salzburg, Steiermark, Tirol, Vorarlberg, Wien), France (4006 survey participants from Bassin parisien, Centre-est, Départements d'outre-mer, Est, Île de france, Méditerranée, Nord - pas-de-calais, Ouest, Sud-ouest), Germany (4008 survey participants from Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hessen-Thüringen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen-Bremen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz-Saarland, Sachsen- Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein-Hamburg), Italy (3005 survey participants from Central Italy, Islands, Northeastern Italy, Northwestern Italy, Southern Italy), and Spain (3005 survey participants from A.M Barcelona, A.M Madrid, Centro (Central), Levante (Central East), Noreste (North East), Noroeste (North West), Nortecentro (North Central), Sur (South)), with an equal split between those who invest and those who do not. In this survey “investing” includes options like stocks, bank products, real estate, exchange traded funds etc. and “investing” is limited to survey participants investing their own money, excluding investments as part of their profession. The interviews were conducted online in February 2022 by the research institute Sapio on behalf of N26 using an email invitation and an online survey. The asked questions aimed to find out about the participants’ preferences, needs, wishes and pain points when investing / considering to invest. The survey defines “women” and “men” as all persons identifying as such. Persons who identified as “non-binary” were not included in the analysis due the sample size not being representative. Please note that N26 does not give investment advice and that investing comes with financial risk up to losing the invested funds.
For any questions regarding the methodology behind this project, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.