Women’s History Month and why it matters to today’s female investor

If one theme threads through the history of women in the United States, it is that of resilience.

In 1857, when female textile workers in New York City were subject to unfair working conditions and rights inequality, they took to the streets in protest.1 Just over five decades later, in 1908, women in the New York City needle trades marched for better working conditions and recognition of women’s suffrage. By either coincidence or coordination, both events happened on March 8 — leading to that date being chosen to commemorate the first International Women’s Day.1

As women’s history was added to national educational curricula in 1978, International Women’s Day evolved into Women’s History Week.1 In 1987, an act of Congress devoted the entire month of March to “a celebration of the economic, political and social contributions of women” and annual presidential proclamations since have upheld the act.1

Another March milestone for women: Equal Pay Day

Recognizing decades of hard-earned triumphs gives voice to the power of U.S. women. Yet, despite the many advancements, gender wage gaps remain notable.

Equal Pay Day originated in 1996 (then known as National Pay Inequity Awareness Day) as a public campaign illustrating pay differences between men and women. The fact that it falls on a Tuesday in March wasn’t an arbitrary choice by Equal Pay Day champions. The timing coincides with when the U.S. Census Bureau usually releases previous year wage figures and how, on average, women need to work until Tuesday of the following week to earn the same amount men earned by the end of the previous week.2

March 12, 2024, marks this year’s Equal Pay Day for U.S. women — evidencing the longstanding impact of the wage gap. For proof, you need look no further than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its Q4 2023 recap of wage and salary workers data shows that median weekly earnings for women are 83.8% of those for men.3 

Education level doesn’t appear to skew wages toward parity. Looking at median wages for bachelor’s degree holders in the same field of study, women earn less than men in all disciplines.4

Theories as to why gender wage gaps exist differ, but the end result is the same: women are often put at a financial disadvantage when it comes to preparing for funding retirement.

Less earnings over a lifetime mean less Social Security benefits dollars — an average of $354 less per month according to recent statistics.5 Pair that with longer life expectancy than men, and the need for women to take control of their investment strategies with guidance from a financial professional is imperative.

Serving women investors through all life stages

Women are feeling the strain of retirement readiness. Nearly half (45%) are concerned they’ll outlive their savings, and about that same percentage (44%) feel financially prepared for retirement.6

Many will turn to financial professionals for reassurance and for help in understanding their options. Meeting women where they are on their journey acknowledges their unique life challenges and demands — and positions you to engage in ways that deepens relationships with female investors.

Personalizing women’s wealth management is a TruStage™ tool that offers insights about four key stages in a woman’s financial life and the needs she’ll likely have related to each. You’ll also be given communication strategies that further build confidence and trust.

Connecting with clients: Straight talk about women and investing

However, acknowledging women’s need for investing and demonstrating the “why” behind the decision to do so can be two different things. That’s why TruStage has several tools and resources to better facilitate discussions with female investors:

More to Explore

Anticipating questions is part of being an effective financial professional. These three resources address top-of-mind topics for many prospects and clients:

1. Built on eight decades of service

TruStage™ products and services are time-honored solutions for helping clients find new paths to retirement — including annuities specially designed to meet the needs for financial security and market opportunity.
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2. When and why should I hire a financial professional?

Defining financial goals, investing for the future, assessing retirement readiness — it can be overwhelming. Help clients understand how working with a financial professional may benefit them.
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3. Debunking the top six myths about annuities

An easy-to-understand separation of annuity facts and fiction to help clients make informed choices about their investments and financial future.  
Download the guide

Want more info? Call 877.345.GROW (4769), option 1, to connect with the TruStage™ Annuities Solutions Desk, staffed with financial professionals with decades of experience. 

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