We were surprised to find women are more stressed about money, compared to their male counterparts. When you think about financial stress affecting your employees, you might have a vision of who you think is influenced by stress. Surprisingly, nearly every employee we have ever surveyed over the last decade and a half has had stressors or gaps in their financial knowledge that could be improved. Even those who have high incomes may also suffer because their debts may be substantial and they have outside pressure to spend more money. Without financial education and the willpower to resist temptation, employees from throughout the organizational tree will suffer from financial stress
What is interesting is that, on average, women are 14% more stressed about money than men. We discovered this after gathering data from over 400 different organizations and 75,000 employees who have taken our Checkup and Challenge assessments over the last two years.
The Checkup measures the stress, knowledge, and habits of employees through a series of 40 questions. Results were calculated as a Financial Fitness Score™ on a scale of 1-10, with 1 showing you were the most stressed about money. A score of 10 would mean you were not stressed about money, you were well educated in basic investing, and making smart financial decisions in your life. The average man scored 6.2, compared to women only scored a 5.3.
Why are women more stressed about money?
This 14% difference leads us to question where the additional stress is coming from. We decided to break our research down further and take a look at the marital status of the employees. It is interesting to notice that the stress level is higher for women in every life stage than men, including married couples with a joint bank account.
The gender gap in financial stress is the hardest for women who are currently going through a separation. When you consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, employees need financial stability to fully apply themselves in their professional lives. It is likely that the period of uncertainty during a separation leads to the spike in stress levels
While it appears women are more stressed than men about money, we were also excited to see women are 2X more likely to participate actively in financial wellness programs such as our new Financial Fitness Academy and experience the post-education benefits.
If you are interested in measuring the Financial Fitness Score™ of your employees, we encourage you to take part in our new free trial and offer the Financial Fitness Checkup to all of your employees. After 30 days, we will send you a detailed Financial Fitness Report with insights like these for your specific company!