Financial investments: why are women still in the minority?

Money, male name (Latin: argentum). The definition in the Larousse dictionary couldn’t be truer: money remains a highly gendered subject.

According to a study by the British online bank Starling Bank, 90% of articles talking about money to women explain how to save money and bargains during the sales. “Conversely, 70% of those intended for men emphasize return and investment, relates Morgane Dion, co-founder of the feminist media Plan Cash. This is starting to change, but there is still a long way to go to enable women to project themselves into positions as investors and not just day-to-day managers. »

Because there is urgency. Women earned 14.8% less than men in 2020 in full-time equivalent, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee). And it does not get better in retirement: in 2019, the average pension for women amounted to 1,145 euros against 1,924 euros for that of men, still according to INSEE. Gender inequalities are also at the heart of the debates on the pension reform supported by the government.

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Why are men richer than women? The provocative question is posed by feminist activist Titiou Lecoq in the subtitle of her book The couple and the money (The Iconoclast, 2022). It starts with pocket money, for which the sisters are worse off than their brothers. They thus receive 7.50 euros less per month, a difference of 90 euros per year, according to the study carried out on 150,000 users of the Pixpay teen card (10-18 years old), in January 2023.

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And inequality continues throughout life, in the family as well as in working life. “In couples, the women pay for the food, while the men’s money is used to pay for what allows them to build up a heritage, observes Titiou Lecoq. In case of separation, the woman finds herself with empty yoghurt pots and the man keeps the car, because he is the one who financed it. »

Even the tax authorities contribute to inequalities by applying the same marginal income tax rate by default to both members of a couple. “This amounts to penalizing the person who earns the least, the woman in the vast majority of cases, by applying a rate higher than that which she would have had if she were alone”, deciphers Titiou Lecoq.

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The good reflex to restore fairness is to ask the tax authorities to apply an individualized rate rather than a common rate to each of the spouses. But still it is necessary to know that this possibility exists. The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, also announced on March 6 that the individualized rate would be applied by default in 2025.

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